What are the AMA's standards?
The AMA has five accessibility standards that focus on various key areas of daily living. These standards include:
- Customer Service Accessibility Standard addresses business practices and training requirements to provide better customer service to people with disabilities. The Customer Service Accessibility Standard is now law.
- Employment Accessibility Standard addresses practices related to employee recruitment, hiring and retention. This standard is currently under development.
- Information and Communications Accessibility Standard addresses barriers to accessing information - information provided in print, in person, on websites or in other formats. This standard is currently under development.
- Design of Public Spaces Accessibility Standard will deal with access to those areas outside the jurisdiction of the Manitoba Building Code, such as sidewalks, pathways, parks and other aspects of the environment that we design and construct.
- Transportation Accessibility Standard applies to public transportation to address barriers Manitobans might encounter while getting to work or school, shopping, socializing and other aspects of daily life.
What does the AMA mean for website accessibility?
The Information and Communications Accessibility Standard covers website accessibility compliance. This standard is currently under development, but it will likely follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), similar to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), B.C. Accessibility Act and other provinces and legislations in North America.
Who must comply with the AMA?
Each accessibility standard outlines the organizations or people who are subject to the standard and compliance deadline. Government organizations will be leading the way for private sector organizations. Non-compliance could result in penalties, therefore being proactive and ensuring your website meets the standards is the best approach.
Timelines and deadlines for compliance take barriers and economic factors into consideration to ensure they are fair to all. To learn more read the Manitoba Government Accessibility Plan for 2022.
Accessibility is top of mind for everything we do 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 want to learn more about web accessibility and work towards making your website accessible to all, get in touch with us today.