Inclusive Governance Model

Global Economic Trends

How is your organization preparing to compete in a rapidly changing world of compliance standards and inclusion best practices? Comparing past events and current activities will provide a greater understanding for future global economic trends and changing societal expectations. We are moving toward a global digital economy by seamlessly integrating machines and people. The two parallel evolutionary trends of technology and people need to be balanced.

The Business Case for Digital Accessibility and Competing in the Digital Economy

We are crossing a new frontier in the evolution of computing and entering the era of cognitive systems. scientists and engineers around the world are pushing the boundaries of science and technology to create machines that sense, learn, reason, and interact with people in new ways to provide insight and advice. The rules of business are changing at exponential rates. The capabilities, and processes that created leadership positions in the last century are diminishing in relevance, making way for a new set of competitive forces. And as we move from an industrial to information economy, every company will need to move and innovate at the speed of their competitors. However, management that does not understand emerging technologies and cannot, or will not, adapt to a collaborative workplace model, risk alienating groups of employees and consumers. Culture of arrogance felled telecom giant Nortel, study finds: Janet Mcfarland, The Globe and Mail, March 2017

A paradigm shift in society, driven by consumer demand, miniaturization, cloud sourcing, and wireless mobile devices, is placing greater power in the hands of consumers, and having a profound impact on the workplace and organization infrastructure stability. However, the ability to use new emerging technologies is currently at the heart of social inclusion, with those excluded being left out of many work, entertainment, communication, healthcare and social benefits. Automation without colaboration within an organization will create System Barriers. Business reports refer to this as "System Blindness". One of the worst results of system blindness occurs when leaders implement a strategy to solve a problem, but ignore the pertinent system dynamics, for short-term relief with the problem reappearing worse than before. Systems Blindness: The Illusion of Understanding: Daniel Goleman, Author of FOCUS, October 2013

Business studies show that business failures over the past decade were due to ineffective management strategies. Management was unwilling to accept advice and adopt change in best practice strategies for the emerging digital age. Management power struggles shutdown effective communication processes between business units, and accountability was unchallenged. A Leader's Primary Task is to define the strategy, focus attention and guide the transition. A change in strategy reorients where everyone's attention should go. A leader should direct the focus of an entire organization, and not allow Each division to focus on that strategy in their own way. To create a culture with a pervasive ethical mindset, corporations must instill the following important behaviors: Commitment, Consistency, Credibility, Communication. A Leader's Primary Task - Guide Attention: Daniel Goleman, August 2013

Lessons To Be Learned

As we approach the intersection of people and machines, the rapid change in society is having an impact on the way we interact with one another and how we conduct daily life tasks. More and more companies are acknowledging the importance of work-life balance. Attitude and Systemic barriers influence both productivity and market growth.

Shifting The MindSet From Disability To Productivity

The total cost from mental health problems and illnesses to the Canadian economy is significant. In 2011 the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) study reported that the economic cost to Canada is at least $50 billion per year. This represents 2.8% of Canada's 2011 gross domestic product. It cost business more than $6 billion in lost productivity in 2011. In any given year one in five people, about 21.4% of the working population in Canada, experiences a mental health problem or illness and it affects almost everyone in some way. Mental health problems and illnesses account for approximately 30% of short and long term disability claims and are rated one of the top three drivers of such claims by more than 80% of Canadian employers.

Employers need to focus on the relationship between mental health and productivity moving forward. More and more employers are facing employees that are on the job but, because of illness or other non-health-related issues, are not very productive. This issue is called presenteeism. Presenteeism is a productivity and performance related issue that is receiving increased attention and concerns from employers. According to Statistics Canada, the average days absenting per employee per year is 7.5 days or 3% of salary. Studies of some chronic conditions and health risk factors found that lost productivity from presenteeism was 7.5 times greater than productivity loss from absenteeism. For some stress related health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, migraines, and neck or back pain, the ratio increased 15 times greater.

Diversity Management Maturity

Key Success Factors

Diversity management must recognize employee differences for innovation, collaboration and success, and link diversity to business objectives and ensuring the company values each individual's contribution as integral to the company bottom line. Having an inclusive environment really demands an engagement process that starts at the top, and extends throughout the corporation to each and every employee and stakeholder in the enterprise.
How to Create Accessibility Statements for Your Organization

The challenge of the corporate enterprise of the future is to find a sustainable balance between the measurable growth and quality of life. A Diversity Maturity Model (DMM) strategy will track progress in building a more inclusive environment. It measures employee perceptions, business processes and the organizational climate. The DMM will provide a common language, cohesive approach and uniform process to establish a roadmap for progressing as an inclusive enterprise. Both organizational leaders and diversity professionals are increasingly aware that the business model of the 1900's is no longer capable of supporting sustainable growth in a rapidly expanding global economy. Focusing on workplace quotas, representation, and relationships in isolation from the business operational strategies, is no longer considered to be good business practice. To achieve workplace cohesiveness and business growth in tandem, future leaders will engage in diversity management, as a key business strategy, in making quality decisions in the midst of differences, similarities, tensions, and complexities. Future leaders will be more strategic in their approach to diversity and diversity management. Decisions as to where to focus attention and how to respond to issues will be guided by an organization's mission, vision, and strategy.

Key Performance Indicators

Some companies manage by rules. Some by hierarchies. IBM manages by its values. Sam Palmisano: past IBM Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

As a new trend sweeps through workplaces around the globe, HR leaders and executives alike have been turning their attention and focus towards the Employee Experience. Diversity Knowledge management requires:

The Employee Experience and the Future of Talent Management: Elaine Newman, CEO Global Learning, June 2015

The Business Accessibility Strategy

The Business Model

technologies have transformed how business operates, how people manage their purchasing and finances, find and carry out jobs, access public services and participate in communities, and how they experience learning, culture, leisure, social networking and entertainment. However, digital inclusion demands that everyone has the potential to be engaged with the economy and society. Investing in accessible and usable technology products and services, workplace environments and facilities opens up new markets, increases productivity and liberates talent, and enables innovation. The message that "providing accessible and usable technologies to all is fundamental to an organisation's core business objectives" must come from the top of the organisation; And must be communicated to all employees, suppliers and partners.

There is a substantial risk to any organisation which knowingly ignores the law. There is a requirement for you to anticipate access needs of disabled individuals and adapt for their access needs. the reality is that all organisations need to understand both the cost of doing business and the benefits that follow. Diversity and inclusion is an investment decision from a financial, legal and ethical viewpoint. It simply makes sense to get it right. Investing in accessible and usable information technology communications must have clearly defined strategic goals. In achieving these goals, the organisation reveals how the investment contributes to Key Success Factors (KSF) relating to customers, employees and internal processes; thus improving performance, increases the bottom line, and shows how social responsibility benefit society as a whole. Accessibility is not a passing fad, but is an issue that has slowly been gathering momentum and there is every indication that it is going to be more prominent in the years ahead. An organization's success depends upon the ability to mainstream diversity and inclusion. Inclusive technology appears to be hitting the mainstream, after decades of tireless advocacy by non-profits and invisible corporate side efforts.
Beyond Alt-Text - The New Chief Accessibility Officer: Ableism, January 2015
Reimagine accessibility and foster inclusion in the modern workplace: Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President for OneDrive, SharePoint, and Office, May 2018

Key Business Goals

Standards And Guidelines

The AODA Accessibility Standard for Information and Communications will help Ontario businesses and organizations make their information accessible for people with disabilities. This AODA standard requires all Ontario organizations to make their websites and web content accessible according to the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) group within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) organization in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of proving a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Ontario Standards

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Recognizing the history of discrimination against persons with disabilities in Ontario, the purpose of this Act is to benefit all Ontarians by developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025.

Legislation Requirements For Removing Barriers
Ontario Built Environment
  1. Buildings
  2. Public spaces
Ontario Customer Service
  1. Accessible customer service policies
  2. Practices and procedures
  3. Service animals
  4. Support persons
  5. Customer feedback
  6. Staff training
Ontario Employment
  1. Recruitment and hiring processes will accommodate disabilities
  2. Human resource practices will accommodate disabilities
  3. Develop and document accommodation plans for employees with disabilities
  4. Create safety procedures and emergency response information
Ontario Information and Communications
  1. Make websites and web content accessible according to the W3C WCAG
  2. Provide accessible formats and communications supports at no additional cost
  3. Make feedback processes accessible to all persons
  4. Make public emergency information accessible
  5. Provide educational and training resources and materials in accessible formats
  6. Provide educators with accessibility awareness training
Ontario Transportation
  1. Make information on accessibility equipment and features of vehicles, routes and services available to the public
  2. Cannot charge a fare to a support person when the person with a disability requires a support person to accompany them
  3. Provide clearly marked courtesy seating for people with disabilities
  4. Do not charge people with disabilities a higher fare, or for storing mobility aids
  5. Technical requirements for lifting devices, steps, grab bars/handrails, floor surfaces, lighting, signage, etc
  6. Provide verbal and visual announcements of routes and stops on vehicles
  7. Develop an eligibility application process including an independent appeal process
  8. Provide the same hours and days of service as those offered by conventional transit

Communication Guidelines

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.

Guidelines Requiremens For Digital Communications
Perceivable User agents, like screen readers, require clearly defined HTML elements within a structured web page. The ARIA (Accessibility Rich Internet Application) Landmarks and a hierarchy of Headers should be used to define page regions and content context. The Banner, Navigation panel, Main section, and Footer are visually perceivable on a standard computer screen, but is not on a screen reader device.
  1. Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
  2. Provide alternatives for time-based media.
  3. Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
  4. Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
Operable All web page elements must be operable by a keyboard, speech input, and other non-mouse devices. Some of the Java scripts may not be keyboard accessible, and preventing non-mouse users from performing some functions.
  1. Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  2. Provide users enough time to read and use content.
  3. Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
  4. Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.
Understandable Page Titles must be unique and meaningful. Links and Buttons must have concise and clearly marked text labels. Images must have descriptive alternative text. The page foreground and background, and Icons, must have contrasting colours for low vision users. The web page must have clearly defined user instructions, and a separation of information content.
  1. Make text content readable and understandable.
  2. Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
  3. Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
Robust To deliver a desirable user experience, there must be a separation between web page design and user content. The web page may not render as expected in all browsers, and will not perform as expected in differing user agents. A design utilizing style sheets and Java Script widgets may improve the robust user interface for both accessibility and mobile devices. Note, the Accessibility Rich Internet Application (ARIA) code should only be used on a webpage if the native HTML code cannot implement the desired user interface effect. ARIA code will not have any effect on older browsers.
  1. Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

WCAG is not scary anymore - A progressive approach to Website Accessibility: By Herin Hentry, Test Team Lead at Planit Software, July 2016

Creating An Accessibility Strategy

Accessibility Maturity Model

Accessibility no longer means compliance. It has become a mainstream requirement that can transform the business. Therefore every part of the organisation should be involved in creating a holistic strategy for embedding accessibility across various aspects of the entire enterprise (from processes to product development to the culture) in order to better manage compliance, improve the user experience on any device, and create an inclusive workplace environment. At the organizational level, this means establishing leadership, developing internal accessibility policies and practices throughout the organization, and equipping your teams for success.
Creating An Accessibility Culture: Lainey Feingold law office

In 2008, the Business Disability Forum (BDF) launched The Technology Taskforce, a Partner initiative which brings together some of the world's largest procurers and suppliers of Information Communication Technologies (ICT). The Technology Taskforce enables accessibility technologies to maximizes talent management, productivity, new product development, customer access and brand reputation. A self-assessment Accessibility Maturity Model (AMM) tool will enable your organization to identify and plan key policies for accessible and usable technologies.
The Open Organization Maturity Model is a framework for helping your organization to become more transparent, inclusive, adaptable, collaborative, and communal. Openness is becoming increasingly central to the ways groups and teams of all sizes are working together to achieve shared goals. Today, the most forward-thinking organizations are embracing openness as a necessary orientation toward success.

Innovation Accessibility Strategy

Diversity Accessibility Strategy