Considerations for Web Accessibility (building websites for those with disabilities) in the Design of a New Website in Canada
in 2012 13.7% of Canadians reported having a disability, or about 3.8 million Canadians of which some subset would consist of users that have a disability that affected their web browsing capabilities which web accessibility addresses. These would include vision impairment, motor impairment, cognitive impairment and others.
Here is the data on this:
The following study also provides data on the breakdown of disabilities by type.
As we can see from this table:
From the data we have at least 35.8% of people with limiting disabilities have disabilities that could be impacted by non-implementation of web accessibility standards. An estimated 3.8 million adult Canadians reported being limited in their daily activities due to a disability in 2012. So therefore we have at least 1.444 Million in Canada that are impacted by web accessibility issues. In terms of legality of implementation for web standards, the requirements vary by the type of business or organization. As of 2014 only the government of Canada and larger organizations (50+ employees) are required to follow WCAG 2.0, a standard for accessibility. Small organizations should also consider accessibility as important as they might face lawsuits under the human rights act.
Here is more information on the requirement guidelines for implementing Web Accessibility in sites.
Web accessibility is not a legal requirement for small business as of the current writing. Wouldn’t it be great if someone came up with a WordPress theme that implements accessibility out of the box? Well actually this exists and WordPress is designed with accessibility in mind. Here are some different themes with this in mind: https://wordpress.org/themes/tags/accessibility-ready. Also there are a variety of tools that can help with determining the accessibility of your website listed here: http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tools/. Ideally all sites would be coded accessibly although many are not due to the extra cost involved to implement this. Consider this strongly in your next website development or redevelopment to stay ahead of the competition.