On Friday the province announced that it's moving forward with an accessibility certification program that will encourage businesses to be leaders in accessibility. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) would guide the program's requirements.
The part of the press release that caught my eye was, "This program would help leaders stand out in their sector or community and promote the economic advantages of accessibility. It would encourage businesses to go beyond the requirements of the law and make accessibility part of daily life."
Exactly! Forget where businesses think they need to be at this stage of the AODA timeline, but rather where they want to be.
It's time to show willing and demonstrate that, yes, you do want to make your brand accessible to those who may have certain disabilities. From a digital communications stance, there's lots of ways that websites can be improved to cater for those needs.
Customers remember those brands that go the extra mile to ensure the information they provide is as accessible to as many people as possible. Why turn people off when you could be proactively positioning your brand as the most accessible in its field?
Two stats from the release to think about:
- One in seven Ontarians has a disability, a number that will increase to one in five by 2035
- People with disabilities and their families represent an economic market worth $25 billion in Canada
That's a huge opportunity to cater for those needs, now, before your competitors catch up.
Herb Communications thinks this is such an important topic we have a dedicated service offering to help brands get started. An accessibility audit is always a good first step, so please take a look and let us know if you need help or advice.