0:15    Hi I'm David Berman and I'm eager to share with you

0:19    why accessibility matters. You've picked the perfect time

0:23    to learn about why online accessibility matters so much.

0:27    And this is the first of a series of segments

0:29    where we're going to learn about the type of difficulties

0:32    people are up against in the amazing assistive technologies that we've invented

0:36    to overcome those difficulties. We're going to talk about how

0:40    we can create online presences with no trade-offs at all

0:43    and what's the best way to organize ourselves to get it done.

0:47    But first, I'd like to tell you about these glasses I'm wearing.

0:52    These glasses are part of a kit that's designed by a friend of mine, George Zimmerman.

0:56    He's a doctor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

0:58    To think about disabilities we tend to think about

1:01    extreme disability someone has been blind since birth.

1:04    Someone who can't hear at all.

1:05    But in fact the vast majority

1:07    of disabilities actually are more subtle

1:10    and perhaps more temporary. Now on my left eye I'm wearing a lens

1:15    which limits my vision to about 3 degrees. On my right eye, more of a...

1:19    this is a 20/200 lens that kind of gives me a Trailer Park Boys

1:23    Coke bottle glasses kind of experience of the world.

1:25    With this kit George's made it possible

1:28    for people with more typical sight

1:31    to simulate all sorts of challenges. Here's my tiger;

1:35    she's wearing for instance a lens on her left eye that simulates cataracts

1:39    and on the right eye

1:41    she's also limiting her eyesight to more of a 10 degree view.

1:45    You'll see more of her later.

1:47    Now before we get into this though,

1:49    I'd like to examine why we should care

1:53    about accessibility. Surely we all think, of course,

1:57    you know we want to have a loving society where we don't leave anyone behind.

2:01    But in fact I see five clear reasons why there's never been a better time

2:06    for us to care about online accessibility.

2:09    The first reason is that there's simply so many of us.

2:13    On our planet today there's perhaps seven billion people.

2:17    And people make various estimates of how many people have disabilities:

2:20    substantial disabilities.

2:21    Some say 15 percent... 20 percent ...25 percent.

2:25    Even with the lowest of those numbers, with seven billion people,

2:28    we're looking at leaving perhaps a billion people out.

2:33    Now you and I are both on the Internet right now.

2:36    But yet for seventy percent of humanity today the Internet remains a rumour

2:41    as Nicholas Negroponte reminds us. But this is the decade

2:44    where that all changes. By the end of this decade

2:46    the majority of humanity will be online. We'll all be online together.

2:51    And we have the opportunity then to liberate millions upon millions of people.

2:56    If we can create an Internet where we leave no one behind.

2:59    The second opportunity...

3:03    regards search engines. Because although we're talking

3:06    about billions of human beings

3:08    in fact the most frequent visitors to most of our public facing websites

3:11    aren't human at all. They're machines such as search engine robots.

3:16    And whether its Google or Yahoo or Bing,

3:19    the Google search engine robot has severe disabilities.

3:22    It can't see, it can't hear. It's got the cognitive abilities perhaps

3:27    of a four-and-a-half year old

3:29    and yet the majority of online searches

3:32    where people are looking to buy a product begin with the search.

3:37    So if we want great SEO,

3:39    if we want high search rankings, that also starts with creating

3:43    accessible Web presences. The third reason is about human resources.

3:48    It's about our colleagues. It's about making sure that,

3:52    even in our workplaces, no one gets left behind. If we want to attract and retain

3:57    the best people available we don't want to lose out on

4:03    perhaps 25 percent or more of the potential people that could be working in our organization.

4:07    We want everyone to be able to collaborate in way that's effective.

4:10    And so we want our presence to be accessible as well.

4:14    The fourth reason:

4:16    the social responsibility argument. Certainly...especially as Canadians

4:21    we're known for demonstrating how one can create a civilization

4:25    where we measure our success by how we treat those

4:29    who either are permanently or temporarily our weakest. And certainly then

4:34    there's a lot of the love in making sure that we leave no one behind.

4:38    But the fifth reason, and perhaps this is the reason that compels us

4:42    to be dwelling on this today, is a regulatory reason.

4:47    More and more jurisdictions around the world are passing laws and regulations saying

4:51    you must make sure your website

4:56    maintains a minimum level of standards about Web accessibility,

5:00    document accessibility, PDF accessibility.

5:04    Whether you're in a region where laws have been passed,

5:08    where litigation is becoming more popular, it's good business sense

5:12    to keep ahead of Web accessibility.

5:14    Now here in Ontario, I'm proud to say we live in a country

5:18    where at a federal level there's a history of leadership.

5:25    Our federal government has been a leader in web accessibility since the 1990s

5:30    and a court decision in 2010 compelled us to up our game.

5:33    And right here in Ontario, Ontario is the first place in the world

5:37    where not just government

5:39    but any organization -- private sector,

5:42    nonprofits, anyone with at least fifty employees is required by law

5:47    to have a public-facing Web presence

5:50    which exceeds a certain minimum level of accessibility. A very well defined level.

5:55    And it's an exciting time to be alive. And in fact if you're if you're here in Ontario,

6:00    were finding that the tools and the techniques that are being developed here

6:03    are being used around the world.

6:05    I had the privilege of working with the World Wide Web

6:08    Foundation this past year on this year's Web index.

6:12    I'm not sure if you ever check it out: webindex.org.

6:15    This is an annual benchmark program,

6:18    where we compare how different countries are doing in terms of various aspects

6:22    of making the Web a better place. And one aspect of this

6:26    is Web accessibility. And my job was

6:29    to audit dozens of countries' results as to how they were doing in terms of their banks,

6:34    their telecommunications companies, their governments

6:38    at how they're doing with Web accessibility.

6:40    I'm very proud to see that Canada, year-over-year,

6:43    always is in the top five of dozens of countries.

6:46    But I even found legislation that was pointing back to actually naming

6:50    Canadian standards as the one to follow.

6:54    So we have found the perfect time: we live in a time

7:00    when we can take the skills and the techniques

7:02    and this movement in our society to embrace web accessibility.

7:07    I find it's similar to how, ten years ago,

7:10    if I suggested to you there would be a recycle bin

7:12    in every room in a government office you'd say

7:15    I'm crazy. Yet in 10 years time, we've seen

7:17    this whole shift towards green.

7:19    Well this is the decade we shift towards accessibility.

7:22    This is the decade we do better business... we do better civilization...

7:26    by all learning how to create a more accessible Web.

7:30    NARRATOR: Appointed a high-level advisor to the UN,

7:34    David Berman has traveled to over 50 countries,

7:36    inspiring professionals on how we can design a better civilization.

7:40    Rated number one in North America as a speaker on accessibility

7:44    he's presented at the largest design conferences on four continents.

7:48    David has audited websites of 40 countries for the World Wide Web Foundation.

7:53    His book "Do Good Design" is published in five languages.

7:56    [music extro]

Aug 25, 2017