B.C. Accessibility Act

Man and women using computers

Bill 6, or the Accessible British Columbia Act, is a new law as of June 17, 2021, that will ensure better accessibility in B.C. over the next ten years. The government will be taking the lead to first implement accessibility measures and encourage other organizations to do the same. (View our news post on web accessibility to learn more about the importance of accessibility and why it factors into everything we do.)

By implementing these laws, the Province of B.C. is helping increase the awareness of accessibility, supporting accessibility in mainstream products and services, and accelerating the implementation of accessibility. 

man using assistive technology

Here is everything we know about this new law and how it will affect your website (you can also check out this overview video of the Accessible B.C. Act (ASL) available on YouTube): 

  • Deadlines: Unlike the AODA in Ontario, there will be no deadlines for compliance associated with this law. The Province of B.C. felt these deadlines did not speed up the removal of barriers and are instead leading by example. 
  • Organizations: The bill does not specify which organizations need to follow it at this time. However, in the future, regulations will be made to identify organizations that will also need to follow the new law. Organizations that will have regulations around this new law will be determined based on their size and their impact on people with disabilities. 
  • Regulations: While the regulations have not been determined yet, it is expected that regulations will follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), similar to the AODA.
  • Penalty: Those that do not take the steps to create an accessible website once regulations are in place and enforced could be fined up to $250,000.
  • Timeline: The Province released a timeline for implementation in June 2021. This states that in 2021 the government will be developing initial regulations and prescribing organizations. By the year 2024 compliance will be enforced. 

While 2024 feels like it is far away we recommend making your site accessible now. View our news posts on the benefits of accessibility and website redesign project timelines for more information.

We bake accessibility into each website we design and develop with the open-source Drupal CMS and we provide accessibility services including accessibility training (sign up for our free webinars to continue learning about accessibility and industry trends), audits, and website updates. If you are ready to make the switch to an accessible website, get in touch with us today to begin the journey. 
 

"Usability is core to a website design success. While pretty designs are great, if the user cannot navigate throughout the website with ease, the design is not doing its job properly."

Elaine Horon
Upanup Web Designer