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Posts Tagged ‘Wide Web Consortium’

Tools and Tips for Accessible Websites

Economic Development departments should regard as inevitable the need to make their websites compliant with accessibility legislation.  Sooner or later such legislation will arrive at their doorsteps, whether in the form of municipal laws or those of federal or state/provincial jurisdictions.  The federal laws are already in place in the United States and Canada.

But what makes a website accessible?  Economic Development departments will need to know so they can plan their compliance initiatives effectively.

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What is an Accessible Website?

The City of Oshawa, Ontario, is ahead of the curve. Its website reveals how it is dealing handily with an emerging, complex issue that will affect municipalities, including economic development departments, all over North America in years to come. Oshawa is already on top of it.

The issue is accessibility. Governments everywhere are implementing accessibility standards for people with disabilities. Accessible design means your product, service or facility can be used by everyone, regardless of ability.

The requirement to be universally accessible will increasingly apply to websites, especially those of governments. Just as buildings will need to accommodate wheelchair access, websites will have to enable people with physical or visual disabilities to view and interact with them. This is a challenge that few municipalities, and fewer economic development departments, have yet addressed.

Oshawa, a town of 153,000 just east of Toronto on the north shore of Lake Ontario, is an example of a municipality that knows (more…)