More than one billion people, or roughly 15% of the world’s population, have some form of a disability that can make accessing the web difficult. In Canada, that number is slightly higher, with 22% of Canadians aged 15 or older living with at least one disability. For many, inaccessible websites lead to frustration, a poor user experience, and difficulty completing everyday tasks like making an online order, booking a flight, or scheduling an appointment.

While Canada has several pieces of federal and provincial accessibility legislation that require organizations to make their websites accessible, let’s look at the current state of accessibility in Canada.

Accessibility World Map

In May 2019, the Accessibility World Map was launched. This free resource allows users to compare the web accessibility level of countries around the world, helping empower visitors to advocate for a more accessible digital world.

Accessibility scores are based on Siteimprove’s Accessibility Digital Certainty Index (DCI). They are a measure of how well a website tests against web accessibility standards that have been set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). A website’s Accessibility Score is determined by the number of success criteria a site fulfills under the three WCAG conformance levels (A, AA, AAA).

Score Breakdown:

  • Very Poor – 0-50
  • Poor – 51-70
  • Medium – 71-80
  • Good – 81-90
  • Very Good – 91-96
  • World Class – 97-100

Canada vs. the Rest of the World

Data Source: Accessibility World Map, June 2019

Top Country Rankings:

  • United States – 65
  • Australia – 64
  • Denmark - 64
  • Japan - 64
  • Netherlands - 64

See the rest of the Country rankings

Based on the scores of 28 major countries around the world, Canada falls into the middle of the pack with a score of 63. This is behind the United States, Australia, Japan, and several European countries such as Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Accessibility in Canada by Industry

Data Source: Accessibility World Map, June 2019

Canadian Industry Rankings:

  • Education - 66
  • Government - 65
  • Healthcare - 64
  • Financial Services - 63
  • Manufacturing - 61
  • Tourism and Hospitality - 60
  • Retail – 59

While all industries fall into the ‘Poor’ ranking category, Education and Government websites are the most accessible. Conversely, Retail, an industry where Canadians have little tolerance for online errors, is the least-accessible.

With an increasing amount of accessibility legislation throughout the country that requires organizations to make their websites accessible, it’s clear that Canadian industries have a long way to go.

Interested in learning more about accessibility scores across the world? Explore the Accessibility World Map for yourself!