Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
If you are an Ontario business or organization with 50 or more employees, the Ontario government requires that your website complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
What are the AODA requirements for websites?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires that your website conforms with the guidelines set out by the World Wide Web Consortium, specifically WCAG 2.0. These are internationally agreed-upon guidelines for making web content accessible to people with disabilities. There are multiple levels of the WCAG guidelines, and the AODA has a timeline for when compliance for each level must be met.
What does it mean for web content to be ‘accessible’?
Web accessibility means that there are no barriers to information even if a user has a disability such as visual impairment, difficulties with hand movements, epilepsy, cognitive impairment, etc. For example, people with visual impairment may use a screen reader to access online information. If a web page contains an image, the image must be tagged with a text description of the purpose of that image that is readable by the screen reader.
As another example, some people are unable to use a mouse and instead use a keyboard to navigate websites. All information and links must be easily accessed with keystrokes (often with the Tab key).
Why should I make my website AODA compliant?
If you are an Ontario business or organization with 50 or more employees and your website is new or “significantly refreshed” since January 1, 2014, it is the law. Websites are not automatically accessible (with descriptive tags for images, keyboard accessibility, etc.). It is best to build accessibility into your website when it is created. But it is also possible to make an existing website compliant.
Not only is having an accessible website the right thing to do, it is also good for business. A significant proportion of the population has some kind of disability. Allowing these potential customers to learn about your business is good for the bottom line.
We can help
Becoming AODA compliant can be challenging (and the guidelines can be downright intimidating!). That’s where Connie Davidson Web Design comes in. We understand the requirements and have successfully made large websites AODA compliant. We use the latest tools and testing to ensure that all requirements are met. We can evaluate your website and provide options for becoming compliant. Or if you are considering a new website, we can build a beautiful – and accessible – site from the ground up.
Becoming AODA compliant is no easy task, but we can help. Contact us for a free website evaluation and get started on the road to compliance.