GUELPH, ON, March 9, 2012 – The Co-operators has enhanced the accessibility of its website for Canadians with physical disabilities. Through a collaboration with eSSENTIAL Accessibility™, The Co-operators is taking part in a Disability Community Involvement Initiative, launched in association with leading advocacy groups for the disabled, including March of Dimes Canada. As part of the initiative, assistive technology is now available for download at www.cooperators.ca.
By clicking on the accessibility icon located on every page of The Co-operators website, users can download assistive technology. The application is available to more than two million Canadians who have difficulty typing, moving a mouse or reading a web page.
“The Co-operators serves a wide variety of communities in our daily business, including those with disabilities, and we strive to reach them in ways that are convenient and helpful to them,” said Paul Mlodzik, Vice-President of Marketing and Communications. “Our website contains useful information about various types of insurance, investments, financial planning and safety tips, among many other things. We want to make sure that information is available to all Canadians.”
The technology empowers users with dexterity limitations that arise from a variety of conditions including stroke, paralysis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease. It also helps people who have difficulty reading because of literacy deficiencies, limited English proficiency, dyslexia, or mild visual impairment.
“The Co-operators is demonstrating its commitment to customer service and pointing the industry in a very positive direction by increasing access to their products and services for those with physical disabilities,” said Simon Dermer, Managing Director, eSSENTIAL Accessibility. “We’re pleased work with organizations seeking to bridge the gap online for people with disabilities.”
About The Co-operators
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products.
The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is ranked #1 among the 50 Best Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights, and listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada. As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of Co-operatives. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.
About eSSENTIAL Accessibility
eSSENTIAL Accessibility makes online environments instantly accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. It’s a virtual wheelchair for websites that empowers users with dexterity and visual limitations that arise from a variety of conditions including stroke, paralysis, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease, among others. Moreover, it also helps those who have difficulty reading because of literacy deficiencies, limited English proficiency, dyslexia, or mild visual impairment. Organizations feature the eSSENTIAL Accessibility icon as part of a Disability Community Involvement Initiative sponsored by March of Dimes Canada. The symbol displayed on websites acts as a clickable icon through which assistive technology can be downloaded free of charge. eSSENTIAL Accessibility does not ensure conformance with World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). For more information visit www.essentialaccessibility.com.