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Re: WCAG and various Laws

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From: Denis Boudreau
Date: Mar 30, 2010 3:42PM


Hey there,

On 2010-03-30, at 3:55 PM, < <EMAIL REMOVED> > < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> I find it interesting that in Canada web accessibility is being dealt with
> on a provincial level rather than something that is uniform throughout
> Canada. Let me know if I'm not totally understanding this.
> Chuck

Actually, it's a little bit of both.

There is an accessibility standard on the federal government level that applies to federal government websites only (CLF 2.0/WCAG 1.0, to be updated to CLF 3.0/WCAG 2.0 in an upcoming version).

There are also accessibility standards on the provincial level that will apply to a variety of websites, depending on the province you look at.

In Quebec for instance, we have SGQRI 008 that pretty much means WCAG 2.0. It applies to all government and agencies websites.

In Ontario, it's AODA, but I'm not sure exactly what it aplies to yet, I haven't had a chance to really look into it, but I hear it will cover a wider spectrum than the Quebec standard.

I'm guessing other provinces also have something cooking, but I have yet to check that out.

Obviously, from my answer, I guess it shows I'm from Quebec. ;p

The politics are pretty special up here so it's no surprise that there would be different standards depending on which governement level you're looking at. Not sure it's actually helping the cause, but this is how things are usually handled up here.

As far as I can tell, there isn't really anything that's actually uniform across the country, may it be a11y standards or whatever, as the french- and english-speaking communities are from pretty different cultural backgrounds.

Appearently, we all feel special enough to want our own thing... for better for for worse.

For instance, an unified canadian standard would allow us to speak on behalf of a close to 40 million people market. That amounts to a pretty interesting number. Like a larger state for the US I guess.

In Quebec, we only represent a 7.7 million market share. We saw how much that "cripples" us when our government tried to put pressure on Adobe two years ago for a french version of Acrobat. We barely got their attention, let alone changed things.

We may even had more effect last week at CSUN we three of us got down at the Adobe booth to talk difrectly to Adobe's Accessibility Team. Politics wouldn't help at all.

Hope this helps,

--
Denis Boudreau
www.twitter.com/dboudreau