6. Build in accessibility from the start

Building in accessibility from the start is key to ensuring that your programs, service, tools and applications can be used by everyone, including those living with a permanent disability, but also by those who may have a temporary limitation or disability due to illness, accident, environmental changes or technological difficulties.

Worldwide, over a billion people, about 15% of the world's population, have some form of disability. Between 110 million and 190 million adults have significant difficulties in functioning (World Health Organization).

In Canada:

Curb cuts are intended to help wheelchairs get up on sidewalks, but they also help bicyclists, parents with strollers, delivery people, and many other non-disabled groups. This benefit to others became known as the “Curb-Cut Effect”.

When inclusive and accessible design is in place, it is a benefit for all and seamlessly meets the needs of individuals across the board, including people without disabilities.

Sometimes people are in situations that limit their ability to hear, see, use their hands, concentrate, understand instructions, etc. Sometimes they are using devices that have limitations in size, input interface, etc. For example:

These limitations are sometimes mentioned as an example of how accessible design helps everyone, including people without disabilities.

Guidelines

6.1 Services should meet or exceed accessibility standards

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that a high level of accessibility is applied uniformly across its service delivery channels. Technologies and standards are constantly evolving and accessibility plays a major role in making the Government of Canada more effective and inclusive. A more consistent, convenient, clear, and easy user experience when using government services online builds trust.

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Development of accessible (regardless of ability, device or environment) digital services enhances the overall experience for everyone by improving and simplifying the overall design.

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Checklist

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Implementation guides

Reusable solutions

Similar resources

6.2 Users with distinct needs should be engaged from the outset to ensure what is delivered will work for everyone

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Involving users early in projects helps you understand real-world accessibility issues, such as how people with disabilities and older people use the web with adaptive strategies and assistive technologies.

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Involving users early helps you implement more effective accessibility solutions. It also broadens your perspective in a way that can lead you to discover new ways of thinking about your product that will make it work better for more people in more situations.

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This applies when designing and developing:

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(Involving Users in Web Projects for Better, Easier Accessibility (W3C))

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Checklist

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Implementation guides

Reusable solutions