Many Canadians are not aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
While this is an American statute it does affect sites anywhere which purport to render services or sell merchandise to Americans with disabilities. There is some controversy in American jurisprudence as to whether websites are actually covered by the ADA. However, there are literally hundreds of lawsuits which have been issued in the United States against companies based upon complaints that the website is not easily accessible to a disabled person.
In fact, on October 7, 2019, the United States Supreme Court denied Domino's Pizza's Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in the case of Guillermo Robles vs. Domino's Pizza and sent the lawsuit back to the California courts to be tried on the merits, although due to the particular facts of that case the issue is still not finally settled.
The minimum standard for ADA compliance is "WCAG 2.0 Level AA".
For persons with auditory impairment there are means to allow for visual or enhanced auditory responses in order to make these sites easily accessible. For those with blindness or visual disabilities, the website has to deal with the issues of navigability and readability. Navigability means being able to operate the website using a keyboard rather than a mouse. Readability involves using software which enables the reader to read by an individual's screen reader software, which allows text to speech.
There are many different types of software and many providers who are able to make websites compliant.
Given the risks of non-compliance, every website owner would be well advised to consider making its website ADA compliant.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.