What is the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA)?
The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) is a provincial law in Manitoba, Canada, that was enacted in 2013 with the goal of making Manitoba accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. The AMA establishes a comprehensive framework for the development and implementation of accessibility standards across Manitoba.
The AMA requires that the government of Manitoba, as well as public and private sector organizations in Manitoba, take proactive measures to identify, remove and prevent barriers to accessibility. The act mandates the development of five accessibility standards, which include the following:
- Customer Service Standard: This standard requires organizations to provide goods and services in a way that is accessible to all customers, including those with disabilities.
- Employment Standard: This standard requires organizations to identify and eliminate barriers in the hiring, training, and ongoing employment of individuals with disabilities.
- Information and Communications Standard: This standard requires organizations to ensure that all information and communications, including websites, are accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Built Environment Standard: This standard requires the identification and removal of physical barriers to accessibility in public spaces, buildings, and outdoor environments.
- Transportation Standard: This standard requires the development of accessible transportation services for all Manitobans, including those with disabilities.
The AMA also establishes the Accessibility Advisory Council, which is responsible for providing advice to the government of Manitoba on accessibility matters and monitoring progress towards accessibility goals. The council includes representatives from the disability community, as well as experts in accessibility and inclusion.
How does the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) relate to web accessibility?
The Information and Communications Standard mandates the use of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA as the technical standard for web accessibility in Manitoba. This means that websites and web-based applications must be designed, developed, and maintained in a way that complies with the WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.
In addition, the Accessibility Advisory Council established under the AMA is responsible for providing advice and guidance on accessibility matters related to web content and digital services. The council includes representatives from the disability community and experts in web accessibility, who can provide guidance and support to organizations seeking to improve the accessibility of their digital content and online services.
Who enforces the Accessibility for Manitobans Act?
The Accessibility Directorate is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the AMA, and ensuring that public and private sector organizations in Manitoba comply with the accessibility standards established under the Act.
The Accessibility Directorate has the authority to investigate complaints related to non-compliance with the AMA, and can take enforcement action against organizations that are found to be in violation of the Act. Enforcement measures may include ordering an organization to take specific actions to address accessibility barriers, or imposing fines or other penalties for non-compliance.
In addition to enforcement measures, the Accessibility Directorate also provides support and resources to help organizations comply with the AMA and improve accessibility. This includes providing training and guidance on accessibility best practices, as well as offering funding programs to support the development of accessible technologies and services.
How does Silktide help me comply with the Accessibility for Manitobans Act?
Silktide works by helping you find and fix web accessibility issues across your websites in the code, design, and content.
Because it’s automated, it helps you:
- Find accessibility problems at scale
- Check for ongoing changes to your websites
We recommend manual testing to find specific instances that cannot be automated. This includes, for example, describing the contents of images in the alt text. But manual testing is usually only an expensive, infrequent ad-hoc process.
Silktide monitors your website by testing pages all the time. Your content team can test pages before they’re published. This avoids any accessibility failures before your customers experience them.
The main ways that Silktide’s automated web accessibility testing platform helps include:
- Find accessibility issues across thousands of pages
- Explain how to fix the issues
- Provide training to web team members to prevent future issues
- Inspire your entire organization to improve, through scores, gamification, and ongoing reports