A grant offered by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) will pay for enhancements to websites to make them more accessible. Enhancements like those delivered by the web accessibility technologies BrowseAloud and Point, distributed in Canada by Bridges.
But all applications have to be submitted before September 23rd, 2011. So time is running out!
The grants of up to $50k can be received by a host of different organisations including:
- Colleges & Universities
- Not for Profits
- Small Municipalities
- Small Private Sector Organisations
- Territorial and Aboriginal governments
BrowseAloud is a tool that adds speech with visual supports to a website. BrowseAloud makes a website compliant with accessibility standards for individuals with reading challenges and visual impairments.
Point is a tool for websites that symbolizes text content on demand and discretely for visitors. The carefully designed symbols make information more understandable for individuals who have a learning disability, or are cognitively challenged.
The elderly, those with dyslexia, and individuals for whom English or French are not their first language will all find a website easier to understand if it is enhanced with BrowseAloud and/or Point. Both tools are free to the user yet no functionality is hosted by the website, making it easy to implement with zero on-going support.
According to the HRDSC website, organizations can apply for “the provision of accessible information and communication technologies.” This includes “providing computer enhancements such as interactive speech capability” and “any other activity(ies) that contribute to creating or enhancing accessibility.”
Not only do Point and BrowseAloud fit the criteria, implementing these tools costs a fraction of the up to $50,000 grant available.
Organizations that are ineligible for the grant include, but are not limited to:
- Medium and large municipalities (with a population over 250,000 as per census data)
- Federal and provincial governments
- Crown corporations and entities that are controlled by the federal or provincial government
- Private-sector organizations with more than 50 employees and/or greater than $5 million in gross revenue per year
- For more information on the grant, the HRSDC’s Enabling Accessibility website http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/disability_issues/eaf/cfp/index.shtml.
- For more information on BrowseAloud and Point, Bridges web accessibility page http://bridges-canada.com/assistive-technology/web-accessibility.aspx.