As an Accessibility Specialist, I often hear comments from graphic and web designers that the new Ontario legislated digital accessibility guidelines limit and restrict their creativity. Many graphic designers appear to feel frustrated, angry and unaccepting of the AODA and WCAG 2.0 Level A & AA guidelines. In Ontario we’re entering a new online landscape that is throwing a different set of challenges at the digital industry.
The new guidelines impact creative’s colour choices, text placement and link content forcing designers to take into consideration how all types of people perceive information not just those who are highly visual. This isn’t the first time graphic designers have had to alter their approach to design though. Digital trends and consumer demands have been challenging designers for some time. Responsive design, image and font copyright restrictions, tech trends, and advertising guidelines, all impact designers’ choices.
Graphic designers are creative thinkers and although no one appreciates restrictions, creatives are one of the most adaptable professionals. They are tasked with constantly producing new, innovative and cutting edge designs. This is no different. WCAG 2.0 Level A & AA does not pose limitations but rather provides information to one group of people that have the power to greatly impact and remove online obstacles to millions of Canadians. If you know a creative designer that has ever questioned the influence their work has on the world, being a part of this accessibility movement will have a major impact on the daily lives of people with disabilities.
New designs, technical solutions and fascinating approaches to online accessibility will slowly emerge and leave designers with an abundance of creative choices. It’s just a matter of which creative designer will be brave enough to look outside of the box and present the next digital design trend for accessibility.
Will it be you?
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