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ARCHIVED - The Council on Access to Information for Print-Disabled Canadians

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

B. Why the Guide is important

Good customer service

Your clients increasingly access information in many different ways.

Formats beyond the conventional printed page are in demand because of an explosion in information technologies combined with a more diverse audience.

Our aging population is one key factor in changing demographics. According to Statistics Canada, by 2026, one out of every five people will be a senior. As people grow older, the rate of disability increases. Over 26% of seniors have low vision or are blind while 40% have a hearing disability.

In the population as a whole, the Canadian Hearing Society reports that hearing loss affects over three million Canadians. That same number, or about 10% of the population, have learning disabilities, according to the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada.

Providing information in formats that all Canadians can access means reaching all of your potential audience. That's good customer service.

A Matter of policy and law

The Communications Policy of the Government of Canada requires multiple formats be provided to ensure equal access to public information.

In addition, Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibits discrimination based upon race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

The Canadian Human Rights Act states it is against the law for any employer or provider of service that falls within federal jurisdiction to make unlawful distinctions based on mental or physical disability.

The Common Look and Feel (CLF) Policy from Treasury Board makes it mandatory for all Government of Canada websites to be accessible to all users.

In addition to these federal examples, a growing number of provincial and municipal regulations require that multiple formats be available as needed.

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