CBC Accessibility Update

CBC strives to make accessibility an essential part of it’s design and development processes for all digital content and experiences. We continually iterate to improve our digital products and services to meet the needs of all Canadians. The following details recent updates that have been implemented with accessibility in mind.

Spring 2019

Provincial Election Converage

Alberta & PEI election coverage incorporated keyboard and screen reader support for poll tracking and election night coverage.

CBC Website

  • improved strucuture for recommeneded content
  • cbc radio shows with improved keyboard support

CBC Listen

Relaunched and rebuilt with accessibility in mind.


  • CBC TV rebanded as CBC Gem
  • Updates include better content structure
  • Relaunch of Apple TV app has better VoiceOver Support
  • New platform apps support CC & DV
  • New platform apps support native screen reader functionality; Amazon Fire (VoiceView) & Android TV (Talk Back)

Story Commenting

  • Improved semantic structure
  • all functionality keyboard operable
  • improved screen reader support

CBC News & CBC Sports iOS App

  • dark Mode link readability
  • video player controls now all have accessible names
  • CC for live sports when available

CBC News & CBC Sports Android Apps

  • android CC support
  • media player controls
  • increased touch target sizes

CBC Video Player

Clip recommendations added with proper keyboard support

Fall 2018

CBC Member Centre

Relaunched member centre built with proper semantics and keyboard support

CBC Kids News

New site created and launched with accessibility as key componenet of all phases of development.


CBC Site visitors can personalize their experience in an accessible manner. Visitors can choosed the cateogries they want to see using keyboard or screen readers.

Ontario Election

Improved election coverage with better keyboard and screen reader support for poll tracking and election night coverage.

CBC News & CBC Sports iOS App

  • improved labelling of key user interface elements
  • Fixed issue of embedded tweets within stories encountered by Voice Over users

Spring 2018

Responsive Web Sites

Many of CBC's largest sites have been updated and now use our responsive web framework. CBCNews.ca, CBCSports.ca, CBCRadio.ca and all regional local sites across Canada inherit the design and development efforts made with accessibility in mind. Aspects such as heading structure, visibility toggles, keyboard access, distinct focus states and dynamic content management have all been incorporated as well as undergone usability testing by Canadians with Disabilities.

2018 PyeongChang Olympic & Paralympic Games

The PyeongChang Olympic website was built with specific attention to keyboard interaction, focus states and dynamic content management. Described video was available online for Olympic opening and closing ceremonies as well as all 38 hours of Paralympic games coverage.

CBC News iOS App

The CBC News iOS app now allows users to take advantage of the devices dynamic text sizing capabilities. New stories have also been refactored to allow VoiceOver users to access individual parts of the story content, including embedded and related links.

CBC TV Online

CBC's over the top (OTT) video platform updated to provide live streaming capability with closed captioning integration for all 14 CBC TV regional linear channels.

CBC Search

Using the same techniques as incorporated into CBC's responsive framework, CBC Search has been rebuilt from scratch to better serve audience members an accessible search experience for all audience members.

Newsletter Subscriptions

Rebuilt to better address the user experience, including accessibility, CBC's Newsletter Subscription Centre provides audience members with an easier way to access and subscribe to specific CBC content. Page strucute, focus management, keyboard access and dynamic content management have all been addressed with accessibility in mind.

Fall 2017

CBC Homepage

Using CBC's responsive web framework, the homepage was rebuilt with specific accessibility considerations. Heading structure, focus management of dynamic content, visual focus states as well as non-visual indication for collapsable content have all been incorporated.

Disability Specific Usability Testing

In order to better serve all Canadians, CBC has started conducting disability specific usability sessions with users of various assistive technologies. Feedback from users of screen readers, screen magnification, voice dictation and other alternative inputs, has enabled our internal teams to better identify areas for improvement as we continue to improve our online experience for all Canadians.

CBC Radio

Full episode transcripts are available for As It Happens. Building on the success of the transcription pilot program for The Current, daily online episode transcripts are now core offerings for both shows.

Spring 2017

CBCMusic iOS App

The iOS app for CBCMusic has been updated with improved support for VoiceOver. Button labels have improved context by pairing action verbs with the controls giving users a better indication of expected behaviour.

New Video Player

Our new media player has been built from scratch and delivers all video on cbc.ca (excluding Live Streams and watch.cbc.ca). With increased speed, mobile friendly and zero reliance on Flash, our new player supports closed captions, is keyboard operable with distinct visible state changes for all player controls.

Launch of CBC Arts & Canada 2017

Built using CBC's responsive web framework, these sites incorporate open source utilities (linting & unit tests) that analyzes code for potential accessibility problems which will prevent development staff from committing known problems to the codebase.

CBC Help Centre

Updated accessibility support for keyboard use, focus indication, help search and colour contrast

BC Votes 2017 & NS Votes 2017

A new election night dashboard have incorporated accessibility principles, including focus management, heading structure and keyboard control.

Fall 2016

Launch of CBC Watch

Keyboard accessible including visible state changes for all interactive site elements, including the video player control rack. Closed captioning and Described Video capability is built into the video player and available via the control rack when available. CC exists for the majority of CBC Watch content and we continuously add described video for as many shows as possible moving forward.

Launch of CBC Listen

Keyboard accessible interface with visible focus indication for all interactive elements. Further accessibility improvements to social sharing & playlist functionality to be incorporated into future iterations.

Saskatchewan Votes 2016 & Manitoba Votes 2016

Leveraging the accessibility improvements that were incorporated into CBC’s 2015 Canada Votes election website, our Manitoba and Saskatchewan provincial election coverage incorporated several features that were built with accessibility in mind. Internally developed tools such as CBC’s Vote Meter (embedded on several CBCNews.ca pages during the election) and the election night dashboard both provided full keyboard interactivity with visible state changes for all interactive elements including updated election results as they were happening in realtime. CBC’s popular Vote Compass, an interactive feedback tool allowing Canadians to compare their own views to those of the major political parties, benefitted from increased accessibility support. Efforts made by CBC to improve the accessibility of Vote Compass has been recognized beyond Canadian borders. Media Access Australia, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving digital accessibility, recognized significant accessibility improvements in Vote Compass during the most recent Australian federal election.

2016 Rio Olympic Games

Accessibility for the Rio Olympic Games website was achieved by working directly with the vendor to ensure basic accessibility needs were met. This was achieved by updating all interactive widgets and page templates to incorporate accessibility needs, including, full keyboard support, visible state changes for interactive elements and a keyboard accessible video player with closed captioning support for broadcast feeds.

CBC Comedy & CBC Life

New digital properties for Lifestyle related content and Comedy related content were recently launched with accessibility incorporated into their development as a result of leveraging accessible expertise that had already been built into beta sites for CBC News & CBC Arts.

Spring 2016

CBC Radio

Full episode transcripts are now available on the The Current website as part of a pilot project with help from the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund.

CBC Video Player

Better keyboard accessibility and clearer text and image contrasts are two improvements to the recently redesigned video player pages .

CBC News & Sports

Keyboard accessibility is enhanced on CBC News and CBC Sports websites (desktop and mobile) with improved tab order for navigation elements, page content, global footer and video playback elements (CBC Sports).

CBC beta sites

Accessibility considerations were a key part in the development of two new beta sites - CBC News (beta) and CBC Arts (beta) .

CBC Mobile Apps

CBC News and Sports apps (IOS, Android) have improved media controls (play, pause, open, close) with added content descriptions that can be read by voiceover features. The IOS apps have improved navigation controls and access to the weather feature.

CBC Radio apps (IOS, Android) have improved voiceover control. The Android app also has voice-enabled search.