Digital Inclusivity: Navigating the Importance of an Accessible Website in Canada for 2024

The online world plays a pivotal role in our daily lives which means business owners must make an effort to be inclusive to all internet users.

Web accessibility is not just a buzzword but a fundamental requirement.

Business owners, especially those less familiar with web accessibility, must understand their responsibilities in creating accessible websites so that their businesses can meet website accessibility standards in Canada.

In this blog post, we’ll explore website accessibility standards in Canada, shedding light on why it matters and what businesses need to know to ensure their websites are inclusive.

The Current Landscape of Web Accessibility in Canada

To begin, we will examine the present status of web accessibility in Canada. Accessibility matters now more than ever, and statistics reveal the trends and needs specific to the Canadian context. As we approach 2024, we must embrace the digital inclusivity landscape.

Understanding Canadian Web Accessibility Laws

graphic showing different elements of website accessibility

The Canadian Survey on Disability reported that 22% of Canadians aged 15 and older experienced some form of disability. This figure currently affects 6.2 million people with disabilities nationwide and is expected to increase in the future.

The Accessible Canada Act (Bill C-81) sets accessibility standards for federally regulated entities. Several provinces, including Ontario, British Columbia, and Manitoba, have their own accessibility laws with similar aims. These regulations focus on ensuring accessible internet and digital content. It’s crucial to be aware of the specific regulations in your province or territory to understand your obligations regarding accessibility.

Accessible Canada Act (ACA)

The Accessible Canada Act (ACA) became law in November 2019 and is a pivotal piece of Canadian legislation dedicated to improving accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. 

The ACA covers sectors under federal jurisdiction, requiring federal agencies, organizations, and businesses to remove and prevent accessibility barriers in areas like banking, transportation, and telecommunications. Notably, it established the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization (CASDO) to create accessibility standards and a Canadian Accessibility Standards Board (CASB) to oversee their implementation. The ACA also mandates a government review of its policies, programs, and services to ensure accessibility for all Canadians. This law marks a significant step toward a more inclusive and accessible Canada, emphasizing equal opportunities for all, regardless of their abilities.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a significant Ontario law enacted in 2005 to enhance accessibility for people with disabilities. It sets accessibility standards in areas like customer service, transportation, and employment, with committees working to develop and update these standards. 

The AODA requires businesses and organizations in Ontario to comply with these standards to create a more inclusive environment, with the ultimate aim of achieving full accessibility in the province by 2025.

A key point to remember: if your business is funded by the government, having an accessible website is not just a suggestion – it’s a requirement.

The Business Benefits of Web Accessibility

business benefits of website accessibility graphic

Having an accessible website is important because it provides a better user experience, ensures legal compliance, and expands your market reach—however, the benefits of having an accessible website go beyond providing a website for everyone to use. 

The SEO benefits of having an accessible website cannot be ignored as Google tends to favour websites that prioritize accessibility.

Common Hurdles and How to Overcome Them

When it comes to web accessibility, businesses often face several challenges. Below are some common obstacles encountered in pursuing web accessibility, as well as some practical strategies to conquer these hurdles, making the process more achievable.

Limited Awareness and Understanding

Hurdle: Many businesses face the challenge of limited awareness and understanding of web accessibility standards and guidelines.

Solution: To overcome this hurdle, it’s crucial to educate your team and organization about the importance of website accessibility standards in Canada. 

Invest in training and awareness programs, or consult accessibility experts who can provide guidance and expertise. Implement a policy that prioritizes accessibility in your web development process to ensure it becomes an integral part of your digital strategy.

Technical Complexities

Hurdle: Implementing accessibility features can be technically complex and may require updates to your website’s code and design.

Solution: Collaborate with web developers specializing in accessibility or consider using accessibility-focused content management systems (CMS) and tools. Conduct regular accessibility audits and testing to identify and resolve technical issues promptly.

Content and Media Challenges

Hurdle: Ensuring that all content, including text, images, videos, multimedia, and downloadable content like PDFs and documents, is accessible to a diverse audience can be a significant challenge.


  1. Create accessible content from the beginning, and ensure that images and multimedia include alternative text descriptions.
  2. Implement video and audio captions and provide transcripts for multimedia content.
  3. Use accessible document formats and offer downloadable versions when possible.

Testing and Evaluation

Hurdle: Evaluating and testing your website for accessibility can be an ongoing and resource-intensive task.

Solution: Regularly conduct accessibility testing using automated tools and manual testing methods. Consider involving people with disabilities as testers to gain valuable insights into user experience. Implement feedback and make continuous improvements to ensure your website maintains accessibility standards.

Resource Constraints

Hurdle: Limited budget and resources can hinder achieving full web accessibility.


  1. Prioritize web accessibility as an essential component of your digital strategy.
  2. Allocate resources for training, audits, and remediation.
  3. Utilize free accessibility resources and guidelines from organizations like W3C and WebAIM to help improve your website’s accessibility without significant financial investment.

Legal and Compliance Obligations

Hurdle: Businesses may face legal obligations to meet accessibility standards, which can be daunting.

Solution: Stay informed about relevant laws and regulations, such as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), and ensure compliance. Consult with legal experts who specialize in web accessibility to navigate legal obligations effectively.

By recognizing these common hurdles and proactively addressing them, businesses can make significant progress in achieving web accessibility and ensuring their digital content is inclusive to all users.

What to Expect in 2024

In 2024, we can anticipate several notable developments in web accessibility. These advancements reflect an ongoing commitment to inclusivity and equal access to digital content for all individuals. 

Here’s what to expect:

  1. Strengthened Legal Frameworks: Countries worldwide are likely to continue maintaining and enforcing their legal frameworks related to web accessibility. Regulations and laws will evolve, compelling businesses and organizations to prioritize digital accessibility to avoid potential legal ramifications.
  2. Enhanced Accessibility Guidelines: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are expected to be updated to provide more comprehensive guidance on web accessibility. These updates will reflect technological advancements and address new challenges in digital content accessibility.
  3. Rapid Advancements in Assistive Technology: In 2024, assistive technologies, including screen readers, voice recognition software, and accessibility apps, will continue to improve. These technologies will enable individuals with disabilities to navigate the web more effectively, breaking down barriers to information and services.
  4. Increased Awareness and Training: As web accessibility becomes a mainstream concern, there will be a greater emphasis on education and training. More organizations and institutions will offer web accessibility training to their employees, fostering a culture of inclusivity and awareness.
  5. Responsive Design and Mobile Accessibility: With the increasing use of mobile devices, web developers will place a stronger emphasis on mobile accessibility. Responsive design and mobile-friendly practices will be essential to ensure that websites are accessible on various devices and screen sizes.
  6. User-Centered Design: In 2024, there will be a more significant shift towards user-centered design. Web designers and developers will increasingly involve individuals with disabilities in the design process to receive direct feedback on accessibility features, leading to more user-friendly websites.
  7. Innovations in AI and Machine Learning: Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies will play a pivotal role in web accessibility. These technologies can automate accessibility checks, offer real-time assistance, and improve content conversion for different disabilities.
  8. Global Collaboration: Collaboration between governments, organizations, and advocacy groups will continue to drive progress in web accessibility. International efforts will ensure a more consistent and harmonized approach to digital inclusivity.
  9. Wider Adoption of ARIA: Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) will see greater adoption. ARIA attributes and practices will enhance the accessibility of dynamic and interactive web content, making web applications more usable for everyone.
  10. Corporate Social Responsibility: More businesses will recognize web accessibility as a part of their corporate social responsibility. Prioritizing inclusivity in digital content will not only serve the needs of diverse user groups but also enhance their brand reputation.
  11. Inclusive Design for Neurodiversity: Upcoming changes to website accessibility standards signal a broader approach, extending beyond visual impairments and reading disabilities to serve neurodivergent individuals better. By integrating user-friendly design and intuitive navigation, websites aim to accommodate diverse cognitive profiles, fostering inclusivity for a wide range of users and ensuring equitable access to online information and services.

Overall, 2024 promises to be a year of progress and increased focus on web accessibility. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the commitment to ensuring that the digital world remains accessible to all, regardless of abilities or disabilities.

How WDK Helps You Achieve Web Accessibility

website accessibility graphic showing multiple devices being used

WDK is your partner in achieving web accessibility. We offer various services to ensure your website meets and exceeds accessibility standards. 

Our comprehensive testing is designed to confirm that your website not only complies with the W3C Accessibility Guidelines for WCAG 2.0 “A” but also achieves an audit score in the high 90s.

WCAG AAA sets the highest standard for web accessibility, encompassing Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA criteria. While full AAA compliance may not be attainable, organizations should incorporate as many Level AA elements as possible, such as rigorous contrast ratios and enhanced video accessibility features, to promote inclusivity.

We understand the significant SEO benefits associated with web accessibility. By achieving W3C compliance, your website not only becomes more accessible to a wider audience but also contributes to improving your site’s overall search engine ranking. 

Accessibility helps web crawlers find your content and helps the algorithm better understand what is on your site, ensuring it is more easily found. Furthermore, accessibility makes your website easier to navigate and engage with, meaning users are more likely to stay on your page, increasing relevance and reducing bounce rate. 

Our team is committed to guiding your business toward a more accessible and SEO-friendly website.

In our mission to assist you in achieving web accessibility, we partner with AccessiBe, an AI-driven solution that actively makes your content accessible as you update your pages. The biggest benefit of this technology is the Compliance Report, which provides a comprehensive overview to prove your site’s compliance. As your dedicated partners, we offer expert support and special rates, emphasizing the advantages of working with us in ensuring your website’s accessibility. 

We comprehensively address various aspects of accessibility, such as Aria Labels for Screen Readers, Dyslexia Font, Colour Blindness, Keyboard Only Input, Alt Descriptions, Title Attributes, and more. 

This inclusive approach ensures your website caters to a wide range of users, including those with cognitive and learning impairments, and low vision, as well as motor and visual impairments. 


At WDK, we leave no stone unturned in ensuring your website’s accessibility. Reach out if you’re interested in a web accessibility audit.

Key Takeaways

Meeting website accessibility standards in Canada must be prioritized in 2024 to meet legal requirements, improve business benefits, overcome common challenges, and enhance website accessibility. 

We invite you to take action and contact WDK for a discovery meeting to embark on your journey toward a more accessible and inclusive online presence.

By understanding and embracing web accessibility, you not only fulfill your legal obligations but also contribute to a more inclusive and user-friendly digital environment for all Canadians.

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