Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario: Accessibility

CPA Ontario's mission is to assist persons with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities to achieve independence self-reliance and full community participation. They were founded after WWII by vets with spinal cord injuries.

Their site serves as a vehicle for outreach and also maintaining communication with their membership. I began working with CPA Ontario in March 2008. They were hosted on a proprietary system that was slow, expensive to host, inflexible and expensive to make changes to.

The new communications coordinator had previously had some experience with Drupal and knew it was what they wanted. Also from that previous experience she was sure she wanted as much 'out of the box' Drupal as possible - her previous Drupal project had gotten bogged down because of a lot of customizations. Because of a short timeline we started with a stock Drupal theme called "B7" and tweaked it. In the end I think it's pretty unrecognizable from the original but it helped start things off.

The accessibility requirements were not very specific but we had the help of Jeff Orchard and I learned about and implemented quite a range of nifty pieces of html and javascript to help people who have limited use of mice and keyboards. The migration from the old system proved challenging because of the inability of the provider to export their data but much of the old content ended up being not very up-to-date or useful. As of September 2008 the site has been gradually increasing in traffic and we're beginning to implement some of the new features that will provide more public interactivity.