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]