What Is Accessibility?

Accessibility means access. It refers to the ability for everyone, regardless of disability or special needs, to access, use and benefit from everything within their environment. It is the “degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible.” Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility 

Founded on the principles of Universal Design, the goal of accessibility is to create an inclusive society for people with physical, mobility, visual, auditory or cognitive disabilities. This means everyone has equal access to perceive, understand, engage, navigate and interact with all elements of the physical and digital world. 

This includes but is not limited to:
  • Physical Locations / Built Environments 
  • Web, Digital, Mobile and other technologies (note: links go to What is Digital Accessibility page
  • Transportation & Mobility
  • Communication  & Customer Service

Planning for Accessibility
Ultimately, accessibility is best represented when features are “built in” as an integral part of the design & development process. Unfortunately, much of the time accessibility is an afterthought and features need to be “retro-fitted” or adapted to ensure compliance.   

CNIB strives to have accessibility be part of the foundation to ensure the end-product is usable by all but recognizes that until that is commonplace in the future, we will focus on fixing and adapting whenever and wherever possible. 
Standards and Legislation
For information regarding current Accessibility laws and guidelines, please visit our Accessibility Resources section.