Accessibility is a right. Here's how we helped eight organizations jumpstart their accessibility initiatives:
The Ontarians with Disability Act (2001) mandated hundreds of organizations to set up Accessibility Advisory Committees and prepare annual accessibility plans. The Act applied to every hospital, school board, university, college, and public transportation organization in the province. It also affected 46 municipalities, all government Ministries, and the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. No tools or guidelines existed to help these organizations meet their legal requirements.
Hundreds of organizations now prepare accessibility plans based on our guidelines and report templates.
CIBC wanted to improve representation of people with disabilities in its workforce. Our challenge was to determine the extent to which the software that bank employees relied upon was accessible.
CIBC moved to integrate accessibility into its policies and procedures. It is now easier for the bank to remediate existing applications and develop new ones with accessibility in mind.
Employees with disabilities reported difficulties accessing a federal building. We were contracted to investigate barriers and propose solutions.
Many of our recommendations were implemented. In addition, we flagged a severe safety risk for people who are blind and suggested a fix that allowed the Government to rectify the problem the same day.
Under Section 6 of the ODA, hundreds of thousands of Ministry Web pages had to be accessible to people with disabilities. The deadline for compliance was only three months away.
We met the deadline, and laid the groundwork for the future. Government Websites are now accessible. Equally important, strategies for maintaining accessible sites are now firmly in place.
Hewlett-Packard is committed to making its products, services, and information accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. But the company needed help to meet its committment. We worked closely with HP for four years as it made accessibility a corporate priority.
Accessibility is now integrated into HP product development worldwide. Most if not all HP products meet or exceed Section 508 requirements on accessible hardware and software.
“Early in our efforts, a consulting firm specializing in accessibility [Cantor Access] helped us evaluate products for accessibility and train our engineers. The training was very effective, particularly because the training team included an expert on accessibility who was blind and could demonstrate the use of our software with her system using JAWS and a refreshable Braille display. It was extremely effective for the engineers to see her try to use the products they had developed. After viewing any problems, the engineers were ready to run back to their desks and start modifying designs... ”
Jacki Downing, Ph.D, Senior Human Factors Engineer, quoted in Technology Accessibility at Hewlett Packard.
A blind trial lawyer wanted faster, easier and more reliable ways to use Microsoft Word. For example, every time he wanted to change the search direction, he had to press eight or more keys.
The client reported that the custom commands...
“...let me zero in on information in half the time using a quarter of the keystrokes.”
Several employees with disabilities were using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but they found that operating a database program by voice was not practical.
Voice control of the database program was made so efficient that employees without disabilities are now opting to use NaturallySpeaking.
“Thank you Alan for your continued good work on the voice commands. Our Case Management System is one of the few such systems in the OPS where voice activated software actually works.”
Jorma Halonen, Director, Office of the Worker Adviser.
An employee who operated a computer with one hand required 60 to 70 minutes to complete a complex, multi-step process.
We developed several macros tailored for her needs and taught her alternative computer access techniques.
The employee can now complete the same process in 16 minutes — a 75% time saving that also reduces the risk of overuse injury.