Home / Success Stories

Success Stories

Accessibility is a right. Here's how I helped eight organizations jumpstart their accessibility initiatives:

  1. Accessibility Directorate of Ontario
    I created the tools that hundreds of Ontario organizations use to meet their accessibility planning requirements.
  2. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
    I tested eight applications that CIBC employees use, and advised how to make the programs more accessible.
  3. Government of Canada
    I documented barriers in a federal building, and advised how to remove them.
  4. Government of Ontario
    I played a pivotal role in the transition to accessible government Web sites.
  5. Hewlett-Packard
    Dena Shumila Wainwright and I travelled the world to teach engineers to design products that anybody can use.
  6. Ministry of the Attorney General
    I customized software so a lawyer could work faster and with less effort.
  7. Office of the Worker Adviser
    I developed a fast, accurate, and easy-to-use voice command system.
  8. Public Service Commission of Canada
    I scripted macros that quadrupled an employee's productivity.

Accessibility Directorate of Ontario

The challenge

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.

What I did

Result

Hundreds of organizations prepared accessibility plans based on the guidelines and report templates that I developed.


Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

The challenge

CIBC wanted to improve representation of people with disabilities in its workforce. My challenge was to determine the extent to which the software that bank employees relied upon was accessible.

What I did

Result

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.


Government of Canada

The challenge

Employees with disabilities reported difficulties accessing a federal building. I was contracted to investigate barriers and propose solutions.

What I did

Result

Many of my recommendations were implemented. In addition, I 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.


Government of Ontario (e-Government Branch)

The challenge

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.

What I did

Result

I 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

The challenge

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. Dena Shumila Wainwright and I worked closely with HP for four years as it made accessibility a corporate priority.

What we did

Result

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.


Ministry of the Attorney-General

The challenge

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.

What I did

Result

The client reported that the custom commands...

“...let me zero in on information in half the time using a quarter of the keystrokes.”


Office of the Worker Adviser

The challenge

17 employees of the Office of the Worker Adviser used Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but found that operating their case management system (CMS) by voice was not practical.

How I helped

Result

Voice control of the CMS became so efficient that other employees opted to try Dragon.

“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 (retired), Office of the Worker Adviser.


Public Service Commission of Canada

The challenge

An employee who operated a computer with one hand required 60 to 70 minutes to complete a complex, multi-step process.

What I did

I developed several macros tailored for her needs and taught her alternative computer access techniques.

Result

The employee can now complete the same process in 16 minutes — a 75% time saving that also reduces the risk of overuse injury.