Expanded Accessibility Legislation: What It Means for Manitoba K-12 Schools

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5 min

Expanded accessibility legislation is coming to Manitoba to empower our community. The Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) creates space for all Manitobans by elevating regional media standards. The AMA states, "The purpose of this standard is to remove and prevent barriers that exist digitally, in print, or through interaction with technology and people."

With the passage of this legislation, all users who engage with any given content will have equal access to the information presented. This is a much-celebrated advancement in inclusion and one that is predicted to affect many K-12 schools as Manitoba begins to implement the AMA.

So how exactly will the new accessibility legislation affect your organization, and what can you do to prepare for it? We understand our K-12 schools want to be prepared. The team at SchoolBundle is here to help. Check out the need-to-know information for educators on the emerging guidelines and learn more about how our platform streamlines these changes.

Breaking Down the Accessibility for Manitobans Act

So, what changes will be coming for K-12 schools as a result of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act? We understand the goal of this new legislation. However, as busy education professionals, finding the time to determine what changes we need to apply and when can be a challenge. SchoolBundle is determined to break down barriers whenever possible and make information more readily accessible to our community.

What is Required?

According to the AMA, any new website, or significantly-refreshed web applications, will at a minimum have to conform to World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA. There are a few exceptions as noted in section 8 of the Regulation.

Web content needs to be accessible through the various processes. Examples of this include adjusting font sizes, adding alt text to images, controlling the flow of distracting elements on a page and becoming adept at understanding triggers for individuals with sensory processing disorders such as ADHD, ASD, epilepsy and others.

How To Comply

The SchoolBundle team takes the guesswork out of researching these requirements independently. Our platforms are consistent and accessible, updating to meet and exceed current requirements set forth by the WCAG. We're here to answer any questions as we create ideal platforms for your audience.

Compliance can be a daunting word. Our digital media expertise works alongside a knowledge of educational organizations to help you seamlessly bridge transitions where compliance is concerned. We ensure elements such as SEO ranking are not lost during the transition. By working together with schools, we can advance a more accessible future.

SchoolBundle's Focus Solution: AI for Schools

We've all heard the buzz around generative AI, but did you know that custom-tailored AI for schools is creating pathways for accessibility? SchoolBundle's Focus Solution is the leading Al-powered web accessibility solution for educators. Focus Solution makes compliance easy by leveraging AI automation to stay on top of the latest changes to accessible media.

The smart technology used to automate changes takes multiple factors into account. This includes new regulations as they impact digital media's appearance and text content. Our unique tool champions inclusivity by making websites more accessible to all learners. Focus Solution is compliant with the WCAG, ADA and other accessibility legislation that supports Manitobans with disabilities.

These real-time updates are especially important within the education community as we strive to build spaces for all users to come together. As a result of AI advancements, curated technology for educational platforms brings more voices to the table by ensuring accessible information for all.

We know that change management is a significant challenge for many K-12 organizations. AI automation through Focus Solution streamlines the process by reducing costs and saving time, making accessibility achievable for educational platforms of all sizes. There's no need to fear the "robot takeover." In fact, AI is a great efficiency tool for building more inclusive online content.

A Comprehensive Approach to Compliance

SchoolBundle Focus Solution utilizes two applications for comprehensive compliance. We make sure all aspects of building an education platform are covered. So how exactly does our dual approach work?

The accessibility interface is responsible for all of the Ul and design-related adjustments. At the same time, the Al-powered background process handles the more complex requirements. These include optimization for screen readers and keyboard navigation. Together, these components build a robust website that considers different information processing abilities. Creating spaces for those with disabilities to engage equally with our content is a mission we take to heart.

The accessibility interface satisfies 30% of AMA requirements. Plus, it includes adjustments for readable fonts, sizing, spacing, color contrasts, cursors and more. This allows educational institutions to update and adapt as new legislation comes into play readily. Users have the power to choose between accessibility profiles, standalone adjustments or both.

This feature is designed to be especially helpful to users with visual impairments, epilepsy, or ADHD. Elevating how we connect with our students, parents and community builds a better avenue for K-12 schools to engage via digital content.

AMA Establishes Greater Inclusivity

The Accessibility for Manitobans Act is exciting progress for our community. It's just one step to establishing better inclusivity around media. Implementing strategic changes for those with sensory processing challenges is a big step in the right direction. The SchoolBundle FocusSolution navigates these changes on behalf of our educational organizations by automatically updating to satisfy compliance regulations and ensure the best possible user experience. Adhering to WCAG standards -- whether or not you're based in Manitoba -- and having an accessible website is a must for building more inclusive communities.

Together, we can advance spaces that are welcoming, accessible and committed to learners of all kinds.  Meet the SchoolBundle team today and learn more.

Curious about increasing the impact of your digital content? Check out 4 Ways Educators Can Communicate Effectively Through Digital Platforms.

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