As most people interested in reading this blog know, the driving force behind choosing my thesis topic was because it is of great importance at my place of employment.  Treasury Board, the agency in charge of enforcing CLF standards has been pushing for Web-Mapping applications to be either made accessible or taken down.  As my team has a web-mapping group of programmers, who are responsible for a large chunk of the web-mapping applications pushed out by Environment Canada nationally, we have a large stake in this.

So aside from working with Greg and UofT, I am also working with other federal departments to come up with a solution to this problem.  Agriculture Canada has done a lot of work in this area, and like us has addressed all accessibility issues except for obviously the main map image.  They have met with Treasury Board and have gotten a pass on some of their applications, as they are arguing that the map can be accessed through using the Mouse Keys function built into the operating system.

Now, although this isn’t actual accessibility, it has pleased treasury board.  EC seems to be the only group that is going as far as we are to address the accessibility of the image.  Our next step will have to be to make an appointment with treasury board. After I get back from Fredericton this will be next on my plate.  Meanwhile we have a government wiki where I will be posting tips and tricks about web-mapping accessibility in order to help out agencies that do not have developers dedicated to this task.