CBC.ca and Accessibility
Web accessibility refers to how well people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges can access a website. As part of our commitment to all Canadians, creating and maintaining a website that is accessible to all members of our audience is a priority for CBC.
New CBC.ca projects undergo assessments to ensure that they follow accessibility guidelines and best practices. We work hard to ensure that CBC.ca complies with universally accepted standards such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2) created by the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
Tips for Browsing on CBC.ca and Elsewhere on the Web
Some accessibility features are built into computer operating systems and web browsers. Try the following methods to simplify your web browsing experience.
Magnify the Screen
Many web browsers allow you to zoom in on web pages using simple keyboard controls. The magnifier allows you to focus on specific parts of the screen, enlarging the text and other page elements.
- For Windows operating systems, press Ctrl and + to zoom in on a web page (Ctrl and – to zoom out).
- For Mac operating systems, press Cmd and + to zoom in on a Web page (Cmd and – to zoom out).
Customize the Mouse Pointer
You can customize a computer mouse pointer in several ways. For example, you can slow down the speed of the mouse pointer for easier handling. You can also change its appearance so that it contrasts more with the screen content.
Learn how to change mouse settings for Windows operating systems:
Learn how to change mouse settings for Mac operating systems:
Make the Computer Speak Aloud
Many computers have text-reading features, but they can be limited in what they offer. For example Windows Narrator reads only menus and dialogue boxes, but not blocks of text. Windows Narrator is available in Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8.
For Microsoft Windows, software is available that offers more advanced screen-reading capabilities (both free and commercial). A popular free and open source screen reader is NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access). The two most common commercial screen readers are JAWS and Window-Eyes.
For Mac users, VoiceOver is available as a standard part of the OS X operating system.
CBC has launched a dedicated Accessibility Feedback Form for inquiries relating to accessibility and digital content, broadcasts and or facilities around the country.
Closed captioning is available for many CBC-TV shows offered online.
CBC Global Navigation Bar
Accessiblity was a priority in the recent redesign of the navigation bar. Enhancements include a skip navigation link that allows screen reader users to bypass repeated page content.
CBC Stock Market Data
A web application was recently launched that enables screen reader users to access stock market data, which was previously provided in an inaccessible image format.
What Is Web Accessibility?
The web offers an unparalleled opportunity for people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges to access information and resources. For example, people who are visually impaired can have immediate access to news articles with the help of assistive technologies such as screen readers or screen magnifiers. People with motor impairments can access a wealth of web content with an unprecedented degree of independence.
Estimates vary, but up to 20% of the Canadian population has some kind of visual, hearing, motor or cognitive challenge. Canada’s large aging population often faces similar challenges.
Web accessibility is the practice of ensuring that websites are usable by as wide an audience as possible. More specifically, accessibility ensures that people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges can understand and interact with a website and its content.
Learn More about Web Accessibility
- W3C-Web Accessibility Initiative
- The international body WC3 helps develop web accessibility guidelines, strategies and resources. The website outlines the internationally recognized web accessibility guidelines.
- The website for this non-profit organization provides resources that help explain and address web accessibility issues.
- Yahoo! Accessibility Blog
- This blog reflects the experiences of individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals with whom they interact.
- Accessify Forum
- An online collection of accessibility discussion forums
- The Treasury Board of Canada, Common Look and Feel for Internet 2.0
- The government of Canada website accessibility standards