Accessibility

We have compiled a list of resources that can help you improve the accessibility of your business or organization. Whether you are looking for ways to improve your web experience for users with disabilities, or need information on where you can get braille translations for your business cards, we are working to make this page a valuable resource in your accessibility toolkit. Links to resources are in bold.

Please note that the Commission is not making service recommendations in providing these resources.

Why should I make my business accessible?

Is there a Business Case for Accessibility?

Businesses that integrate accessibility are more likely to be innovative, inclusive enterprises that reach more people with positive brand messaging that meets emerging global legal requirements. A research study of Fortune 100 companies indicates that disability inclusion, as part of an overall diversity strategy, is common practice among high performing businesses.1  When accessibility is part of strategic planning, businesses are better equipped for success in our connected world of commerce, academia, and civic engagement.

Web Accessibility

The Web Accessibility Initiative is widely regarded as the international standard for Web accessibility and provides support materials to help understand and implement Web accessibility. You can find translations of the W3 consortium accessibility articles in many different languages.

Test your website to see where you can improve accessibility. There are a number of tools available from the W3C consortium, the developers of international web standards.

WebAIM’s web accessibility evaluation tool, Wave, looks at a live website to provide a detailed list of accessibility-related errors, alerts, and more. For example, discover whether your website has empty headings or links, is missing any key page elements that differently-abled people use to navigate websites, or uses Flash or plugins that may not be accessible to everyone. It’s also available as a Chrome extension.

WPCampus is a community of web professionals, educators, and people dedicated to the confluence of WordPress in higher education. They have a long list of resources to help you understand and implement web accessibility on your WordPress blog or website.

Download a FREE screen reader courtesy of NV Access out of Australia. NV Access is approved by the CNIB who has a handful of tutorials on how to use the NVDA screen reader.

WordPress is a website creation platform that powers a huge proportion of the internet. wA11y – is a WordPress plugin that offers valuable feedback on the accessibility of your web pages BEFORE you publish them to make sure that as many of them as possible work for people with disabilities.

Making Accessible Links: 15 Golden Rules For Developers

Documents and Presentations

NWT Human Rights Commission developed an Accessibility Checklist to help you make your public events more accessible to persons with disabilities.

How to Make Your Presentations Accessible to All  This page helps you make your presentations, talks, meetings, and training accessible to all of your potential audience, including people with disabilities and others. Inclusive presentations have many benefits.

The NWT Literacy Council wrote and produced a Plain Language Audit tool funded by the GNWT Department of Education, Culture, and Employment funded the project. The project also produced Write for Your Reader – a ‘how to’ plain language handbook.

Algonquin College has a page dedicated to helping you create accessible documents and presentations from Word, to Excel to Power Point as well as some other helpful and easy to read resources on accessible documents.

Creating Accessible Documents in MS Word

Converting Documents to Accessible PDFs

Braille Literacy Canada (BLC) is an organization of braille users, transcribers and producers, as well as educators and parents of blind children.  A list of Braille producers and transcribers is available on their website. Check with your printer to learn about options for printing braille on your business cards or other material.

My Other Office is a Canadian transcription company that does not outsource any of its speech to text services. Transcripts are produced in Canada by a team of experienced and dedicated transcriptionists.

Flaming Fingers offers audio transcription services in English and French as well as other proofreading formatting and word processing services.

Opal Transcription Calgary is an audio transcription company based in Calgary, Alberta. They provide transcription services throughout North America.

Buildings, Structures, and Renovations

The Government of Canada’s Accessibility Resource Centre has six tabs that will lead you to federal resources and tools to help improve accessibility for people with disabilities in the following areas: AwarenessEmploymentHousingService ProvidersTechnology, and the Workplace.  Many of these materials also raise awareness of the importance of being inclusive of people with disabilities.

Primary Differences Between the Technical Standards This page outlines the primary differences between the Barrier-free Design Standard (CAN/CSA-B651-M95), (“CSA 95″) and the Accessible Design for the Built Environment (CAN/CSA-B651-04).

Accessible Resources for Business
Start implementing changes now as an investment in your future — make the necessary renovations to your building, train your employees, and update your website so that it’s easy for all visitors to find what they want. Be prepared to provide your customers with the highest level of service and to provide your employees with the best work environment possible. Making it easier for Canadians with disabilities to do business with you makes good business sense.

Service Animals

Travelling with Animals that Provide Disability-Related Assistance This resource tool from the Canadian Transportation Agency provides useful information for carriers, terminal operators, and persons with disabilities about travelling with animals who provide disability-related assistance, which may be referred to as service animals, guide dogs, emotional support animals, psychiatric support animals, seizure alert animals, etc.

Legal Rights For People Who Use Service Animals the rights of people who use service animals can be confusing and may go unenforced. It is important to know what action may be available to address discrimination and refusals of access connected with the use of a service animal.

Training

Whether you’re an architect, general contractor, engineer, urban planner, design-builder, or anyone interested in accessibility and the built environment, qualifying for a Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) Professional designation will provide you with the knowledge and practical skills needed to rate a building for its overall accessibility under the RHFAC program. Once you obtain the RHFAC Professional designation, you can be publicly listed on the RHFAC Professional Directory.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.  The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops standards and support materials to help you understand and implement accessibility. This page describes an example of a three-day, hands-on, workshop on web accessibility. You can use it as a basis for developing customized training for specific audience needs and goals. It links to Accessibility Topics and WAI resources that you can use as building blocks to develop your presentation and activity materials.

Lynda.com has lessons on how to make your website more accessible. Learn about accessibility including how to make your sites friendly to screen readers and assistive technology, how to use proper markup and web standard compliance to make sites more accessible and search engine friendly, and more. (Lynda membership is free with a YK Public Library card!)

Lancaster House offers customized training to perfectly meet your organization’s learning needs. They can adapt their existing programs for your workplace or create an entirely new curriculum. First, they will consult with you to gain an in-depth understanding of your training requirements. Then, they will collaborate with you to shape a program that fulfills your objectives, and they deliver it in a way that works for your organization.

Policy Development

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has a number of publications that can help you understand human rights issues and develop sound policy that is inclusive and accommodating. Be sure to follow up with us at the NWT Human Rights Commission to make sure there are no gaps in jurisdiction

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has an extensive publication examining human rights and policy development. The purpose of the guide is to provide organizations with some practical help for developing effective and fair ways to prevent human rights infringements, and for responding to human rights issues such as harassment, discrimination and accommodation needs. It is available as a PDF or online.

Funding Sources

The Enabling Accessibility Fund (EAF) provides funding for eligible capital projects that increase accessibility for people with disabilities in Canadian communities and workplaces, creating more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in community activities, programs and services, or access employment opportunities.

Microsoft AI for Accessibility Grants are open to everybody who has a great idea. AI for Accessibility is a call to action for developers, NGO’s, academics, researchers, and inventors to accelerate their work for people with disabilities. From a tinkerer in a basement to an established corporation, from students to professionals. This is a global program; grant applications from all countries in the world are eligible. If you are worried about not meeting all requirements, please connect to someone in your community who can support you and partner on an application.

TELUS Community Funding TELUS funds eight regional community action teams in Canada, as well as five community boards internationally. With each unique community come unique needs. We fund programs that best meet our vision and clearly demonstrate the criteria.

Shell Community Funding provides funding for community projects and initiatives that are located near our facilities and exploration interests throughout Canada. By investing in the themes below, we work to address concerns and positively impact the community.

The Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF) supports communities across Canada as they create and enhance tourism products, facilities and experiences. Delivered through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), this two-year Fund helps Canada’s tourism sector innovate and grow by providing targeted investments based on regional priorities including accessibility.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program for Persons with Disabilities (RRAP-D) can provide the financial support for First Nations and First Nation members who need support for modifications to make a home accessible in relation to the occupant’s disability.

The GNWT has a number of programs to help residents afford and modify their homes. CARE is available to low and modest income homeowners, including seniors on fixed incomes. Additional funding is available to improve the accessibility of a home for people with disabilities.

The Seniors Aging-In-Place Retrofit Program provides a forgivable loan (over one year) to lower energy costs or for repairs so that seniors who own their homes can continue to live in their homes safely. The loan is for a project to reduce your use of fossil fuels, such as installing a new furnace, to install an alternative source of energy, or for needed repairs to help you stay in your home longer.

The CIRA Community Investment Program gives back by funding innovative community projects to build a stronger, safer and more accessible internet for all Canadians. The program has built new infrastructure, helped grow Canada’s capacity in media literacy, enabled non-profits to deliver online services and academic researchers to address emerging digital issues.

Broadcasting Accessibility Fund  The first of its kind in the world, the Fund is an independent and impartial funding body that will provide grants for innovative projects that will advance accessibility to broadcasting content in Canada. The BAF anticipates that project proposals will address a range of accessibility needs, and encourages project submissions from a variety of applicants. Those that propose new technologies and applications are expected to employ inclusive design, which sees accessibility built-in at the earliest possible stage of its development.
Learn about Canada Post Grants and Awards that support children and youth in our communities. Teachers and parents can also get information on our Santa letter-writing program.

March of Dimes DesignAbility® program offers custom-built solutions and modifications to the everyday challenges that can be faced by people living with mobility issues. If you or someone you know has a disability and needs a solution or product to increase independence that cannot be found on the market, the March of Dimes DesignAbility® program can provide assistance.

Accessibility Benefit Programs

City of Yellowknife Access for All The City of Yellowknife envisions that every citizen living in Yellowknife should have an equal opportunity to enjoy using our many facilities in Yellowknife. The purpose of the Access for All Program is to provide free access to our drop-in recreational activities and Public Transit for low-income citizens and/or families.

Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart Program is committed to ensuring kids in need have equal access to sports and physical activity.

The Access 2 Program is a collaborative partnership between Easter Seals and over 500 movie theatres, cultural attractions, entertainment venues, and recreation facilities across Canada. Designed for people of all ages who have a permanent disability and require the assistance of a support person, the goal of the Access 2 Program is to improve social inclusion and provide access to entertainment, cultural and recreation opportunities and experiences without any added financial burden.

When an Access 2 cardholder (the individual with the permanent disability) presents their valid Access 2 Card at any participating venue partner, their support person receives free admission; the cardholder pays regular admission.

Even More Resources!

If you’re not sure how to identify accessibility barriers in a public place in your community, the Rick Hansen Foundation’s resources can help!

Nous travaillons actuellement à trouver des ressources équivalentes en français. Une page correspondante sera bientôt disponible sur la version française de notre site. Merci de votre patience.

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