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AODA Deadline Approaching

Is your website ready?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires public and private sector organizations doing business in Ontario have an accessible website by January 1, 2021.

Not sure if your site is AODA compliant? Chat with a compliance specialist who can:

  • Run a free scan of your site to identify accessibility gaps;
  • Offer customized recommendations based on the results; and
  • Provide tools and resources to help you meet the deadline.
Calendar displays January 1 with a stopwatch timer counting down

AODA Fast Facts: What You Need to Know Now

Number 1

The AODA is a 2005 provincial law mandating a set of standards that organizations must follow to become more accessible, giving Ontarians with disabilities the opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of daily life.

Number 2

Regardless of size or industry, the AODA applies to all organizations registered in Ontario, and sets forth standards for accessibility in 5 key areas: Customer Service, Employment, Information and Communications, Transportation, and Public Spaces.

3

The AODA requires that public web content created after 2012—including, but not limited to, websites, applications, and digital documents—must meet the technical requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

4

By January 1, 2021, all public sector organizations and private organizations with 50+ employees are required to ensure their public-facing web content meets WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria.

Number 5

Penalties for non-compliance are steep. Depending on the severity of the violation, failure to comply can result in fines up to $50,000 per day for individuals, and up to $100,000 per day for corporations.

Number 6

By June 30, 2021, all organizations with 20+ employees must file an accessibility compliance report with the Government of Ontario indicating whether or not they are in compliance with AODA requirements.

picture of a laptop

2- How do people with disabilities use websites and mobile apps?

The answer: Assistive Technology (AT)

AT is a broad term referring to hardware or software that enables people with various disabilities to access technology, bridging the gap between a person’s abilities and the content they want to access. Some examples of commonly used AT by disability type include:

  • Blind: Screen readers, braille displays, and speech recognition software
  • Low Vision: Screen magnification, contrast adjustments, and other methods to personalize display
  • Mobility: keyboard-only navigation, speech recognition, eye tracking, and switch controls
  • You can learn more about how individuals with disabilities interact with web and mobile technology in the Understanding Assistive Technology article series.

 

A diverse group of people engage with accessibility compliant devices
The 4 Principles of WCAG - Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust

3- What does it mean for a site to be “accessible”?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines require that a website be:

  • Perceivable: If someone cannot see, written content can be read by a screen reader. If someone cannot hear, audio content has captions.
  • Operable: If someone cannot use a mouse or touchpad, they can navigate by keyboard or by voice command software. If someone moves or reads slowly, they can request additional time to complete a task.
  • Understandable: If someone clicks on a navigation menu, it behaves like a navigation menu. If an error is made on a form, an error message points out the location of the error and suggests how to fix it.
  • Robust: The site is compatible with current assistive technology and is prepared to roll up to future iterations of AT.

Let us show you if—and how—your website meets these requirements

4- Why should businesses invest in making their technology ADA Compliant?

4- Why should businesses invest in making their technology ADA Compliant?

Reduces Legal Risk
If you haven’t received a complaint yet it’s likely only a matter of time before you do. Proactive, documented efforts to make your technology accessible are the best defense against legal action.
Increases Market Reach
Estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans has a disability that affects their daily life. Technology is a big part of daily life.
Helps Sell More Products
If you sell technology B2B or B2G, having an accessibility conformance report will rank your product higher in the minds of your buyers, especially in highly regulated industries or the government.
Right Thing to Do
Just as you’d remove physical barriers to your place of business, you should also remove digital barriers for people with disabilities.
Benefits Everyone, Not Just People With Disabilities
Accessibility best practices go hand-in-hand with better user experiences for everyone who interacts with your technology.
AMP dashboard showing current website health

5- How do I test my website for ADA compliance?

Visit webaccessibility.com to test pages on your website for free.  Each URL entered will include over 200 automated tests run.  You will instantly receive a Compliance Score and a list of accessibility issues that need remediation. These automated tests are a starting point to understand your level of compliance.  They will reveal many-but not all- violations. Manual testing is required to ensure a site is truly accessible.

Get a a free ADA compliance check of your website