An excerpt from a great discussion occurring in Linked In re Accessibility and the use of Regulations

Mark I could not agree more re. Legislative Compliance versus the right thing to do from a corporate perspective. I also agree that 70% of all businesses as in all regulations will try to meet Compliance at best; lowest common denominator.

In our practice we have found over the last 23 years that the usual 10% of other business will aim for Best Practice. The last 10% at the top will go beyond Best Practice and incorporate accessibility into their diversity and inclusion programs as well as in their day to day operations.

The bottom 10% will not comply, dig in their heels and wait until a crisis occurs in the way of an audit and penalties.

The emphasis in our firm is to work with the top 20% of companies who want Best Practices to Strategic and operationalized. For this group whom we partner with we talk about Brand enhancement, profitability over the long term and an enhanced ability to hire from a larger pool of skilled employees etc.

While I am not personally a fan of legislation as a motivator I must say that the only way to get the remaining 70% to move on any initiative which is good for the broader economy and society is to regulate and develop standards. If you would like to get a flavour of the response from this 70% to anything related to accessibility have a look at the written feedback on both the National Post and the Vancouver Sun. As you know they both ran articles about the proposed changes to the Vancouver Build Code.

The responses range from outright bigotry related to People with Disabilities to a clear lack of understanding of the topic at all via purposeful ignorance. It is for this reason that we now have in place the AODA and the proposed Build Code changes in Vancouver (as well as pending legislation in SK and MB).

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These conversations including yours are really excellent and I am learning a great deal from this. Thank you for keeping the conversation about accessibility moving forward. JESleeth OPC Inc.

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