Why Certification? The Business Benefits

In Ontario, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is the standard of compliance for accessibility. However, the goal of Certified For Access is to provide businesses with further incentive to go above and beyond the minimum standard. To make accessibility an aspiration, not just an obligation.

While the AODA is a top-down approach to accessibility, the goal of Certified For Access is to create a bottom-up framework where providing access for all consumers regardless of ability is recognized as good for business. This isn’t just a call for more ramps and braille menus, it is a challenge to business and civil society to embrace an inclusive society and the billions in annual revenue that come with it.

What are the potential benefits that will make businesses want to participate in a certification program?

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greggy's avatar

Having been in the industry for nearly 20 years, I've seen awareness of web accessibility grow significantly. There's still a long way to go before web accessibility becomes standard practice however. We at the Chang School at Ryerson University are helping build that awareness by offering free Web Accessibility Auditing training for businesses across Ontario, and around the world.

On January 25, 2016 we will be offering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that will build web accessibility expertise for Ontario web developers, with the goal of making web accessibility second nature is their web development activities.

To learn more about the course, and to register, visit the Web Accessibility Auditing Made Easy website at:
https://de.ryerson.ca/wa/

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C Johnson's avatar
Jan 25, 2016 - 22:45

Businesses who are first to participate in a certification program have the opportunity to be first on the block; that is, they can gain a competitive advantage if they are certified. For example, like hoteliers star-ratings or pass/fail ratings at some restaurants, if certification status is prominently and proudly displayed at brick and mortar businesses or on websites, certified businesses are explicitly showing they know about value added customer service. A business that displays its certification status can pique the interest of customers and other businesses in the neighbourhood. It will open up a dialogue and get people talking about this company that truly cares about customer service and goes above and beyond. Perhaps other businesses will soon want to be certified too, lest they be left behind, thus building momentum towards accessibility - a win-win situation for all.

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