Accessibility Technology

A Digitally Inclusive Future for Canada’s National Broadcaster

Presenters:  Patrick Dunphy accessibility specialist from the CBC

@PatrickDunphy | Co-lead #a11yTO with George Zamfir (@goodwally) and Billy Gregory (@thebillygregory)

This was my fifth session at the CSUN conference on Friday, March 6.  I’m always interested in hearing about how very large – particularly media companies – approach their accessibility remediation efforts.

What is CBC?

  • We’re a publicly funded Canadian radio, tv, online

2020 Strategy

  • Intensify relationship with citizens with disabilities
  • 13.7% of Canadians self-identify as having a disability (3.8 million)
  • However, no captions for recent olympic coverage
  • Silver tsunami is coming…

We’ve Been Busy!

  • Launched to gather feedback on what’s wrong
  • GAAD:  Global Accessibility Awareness Day
  • 4-part learning series
  • Accessibility inquiry form for intake
  • Developing an internal knowledge base (Confluence)
  • Accessibility task force (July 2014) got everyone involved:  IA, design, SME, QA, PM, Apps, Architect, Content, UX, management
  • Jumped into agile in a big way (which was not without it’s bumps)

In October 2014, We Committed to a 4-year Rollout Plan

  • We will make our digital content meet WCAG 2.0 AA standards by April 2018.  Digital operations is leading this effort, with 8 product teams using agile methodology.
  • We completed a gap analysis with The Paciello Group
  • Identified training needs
  • WCAG2.0 training for devs, designers, and QA analysts
  • Accessibility requirements identified for 3rd party vendors

Gap Analysis

  • Task force meets weekly
  • First, we reviewed 25 screens across CBC, CBCNews, CBCSports, CBCRadio, Network
  • Summary of gap analysis identified a range of issues likely to significantly affect the ability to interact with; lots of work had been done, and moderate level of effort would be required to get it up to scratch.
  • Screen reader training

Learning & Development Initiatives

  • Lots of checkpoints to think about what we want to get to, and narrowed it down into what was feasible
  • Onboarding process
  • Q&A webinars
  • Moderated forums
  • Printable cheat sheets
  • Code samples
  • Bi-annual training
  • External assistance




By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

%d bloggers like this: