June 2007 Focus Update #118

Our commitment to Web accessibility

Providing a market-leading plan member Web experience means not only offering comprehensive and innovative online services, it also means working hard to ensure those services are accessible to all our plan members.  Statistics Canada reports that 12.4 per cent of Canadians have some type of “activity limitation” – which can impair their ability to access the Web.

That is why our Plan Member Services website is fully compliant with the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Priorities 1 and 2.

What does Web accessibility mean?
The W3C defines Web accessibility as allowing people with disabilities to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, while benefiting many others.  Being compliant to these internationally recognized guidelines ensures that our Plan Member Services website is accessible to people who:

  • are unable to see, hear, or move easily
  • have their eyes, ears, or hands busy or impeded
  • have difficulty reading or comprehending text
  • suffer from colour-blindness or visual impairments
  • do not have, or are unable to use, a keyboard or mouse
  • are using an early version of a browser, a non-standard browser, a voice browser or other assistive technology
  • are using a non-standard operating system
  • are relying on a slow connection, small screen, or text-only screen
  • are unable to speak or understand the language in which the document is written.

What are Priorities 1 and 2?
Compliance with Priority 1 means we have satisfied the "must haves" – i.e. basic requirements for individuals such as those listed above to be able to use Web documents. Satisfying Priority 2 means we are also providing the "should haves" that remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents.

Industry Leadership
In addition to the work we have done to ensure compliance with W3C Priorities 1 and 2, we are the only group insurer to be members of:

  • Canadian Financial Institutions Forum on Accessible Technology, a group working toward financial services industry standards and guidelines for web accessibility
  • Information and Communications Standards Development Committee of the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, which is developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in the province.

Many of our customers have made Web accessibility an important priority – and we share that commitment. We’re pleased to take a leadership role in this important area.  We believe it’s the right thing to do.

If you have any questions about our web accessibility, please contact your Sun Life Financial group representative.