May 14

OBIAA: Accessibility Smart Businesses – Social Media Campaign – May 2016

OBIAA invites its members to participate in a week-long, province-wide social media campaign on accessibility (May 30-June 6)

The Ontario marketplace is becoming more diverse and businesses need to reflect the customers they serve to better understand them and fill their needs. As our population ages and the number of individuals with disabilities increases, businesses can reach into different segments of the community and appeal to a wider customer base by creating an inclusive and accessible environment for people with disabilities.

To raise awareness of the business benefits of accessibility, OBIAA is launching its first ever provincial social media campaign. During the week of May 30 to June 6, Ontario BIAs will be inviting their business members to participate campaign as a way to raise awareness of, and support for, accessibility and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Businesses will have their photos taken by their local BIA and posted on various social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and campaign partners, including the Ontario BIA Association, Accessibility Ontario, and the Government of Ontario, will repost/retweet the pictures using the hashtag #accessbia.

Details of the campaign’s goals, logistics, targets, and resources can be found in “Social Media Campaign Instructions” document located on OBIAA’s website. Included in the document is also a customizable Media Release, as well as Twitter and Facebook posts for immediate use.

Accessibility is Good for Business

Many businesses understand that being responsive to changing demographics and societal values is a business imperative and a competitive advantage. Demonstrating a commitment to accessibility through your business practices—such as hiring people with disabilities—sends a message to your customers, employees, and the wider community that your business is open to all. This helps improve brand image and business reputation, as well as increases customer loyalty. In Canada, if you combine people with disabilities, their friends, family and colleagues they represent 63% of the population. And those people are more likely to support an organization or business that demonstrates a commitment to accessibility.


~ 1 in 5 Ontarians have a disability and 70% of those are invisible. This number is expected to increase with our aging population.
~ People with disabilities represent a consumer spending base of $25 billion.
~ By 2031, $536 billion will be the income controlled by people with disabilities and those at risk of disability (people aged 55 and above) in Canada.
~ Improved accessibility in Ontario can help generate up to $9.6 billion in new retail spending and $1.6 billion in new tourism spending.
~ Hiring workers who have a disability does not adversely affect an employer’s WSIB premiums.
~ Less than 2% of people with disabilities use a scooter or wheelchair as their primary mode of transportation.

Start Planning Now!

While the campaign is set to take place from May 30 to June 6, you can start by getting your posters customized and printed. Put a call out to, or drop by and visit, your business members and get them signed up to participate. Let them choose their poster and think about what they want to write. Then, during the week of the campaign, you’ll be all set to go out and take their photos.

For More Information

Constance Exley, Project Manager
Accessibility Smart Business Project
1 (647) 502-7047