AODA Reporting Deadline: What Happens if Your Website Isn’t Compliant?
Jan 3, 2024
The December 31, 2023 compliance reporting deadline for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) has passed. So, what happens if your website isn’t AODA compliant or if you missed the AODA deadline and failed to submit the required compliance report?
Level Access maintains an active business presence in Canada and participates in various accessibility-related government advisory boards for the provincial government of Ontario. We’re also in constant communication with government officials. Regarding the most recent AODA deadline, we’ll share what the government has told us in this blog.
Want to understand the requirements for AODA compliance? Learn more in this blog.
What if I missed the AODA deadline?
Unfortunately, there were no extensions considered for the December 31 filing deadline. To avoid potential penalties, your organization should still file a report as soon as possible (even if your organization is non-compliant). You can download and complete your accessibility compliance report on Ontario.ca. If you need additional time to create a roadmap toward becoming compliant, you may apply for an extension only once you have filed your report.
What if my organization is non-compliant?
If your organization is non-compliant with the AODA, that should be indicated in your compliance report. Do not allow non-compliance to deter you from filing your report and meeting the AODA reporting deadline. In the context of this article, we define compliance as meeting the WCAG 2.0 AA conformance requirement under Part II of the AODA, Information and Communications Standards. If you indicate that your assets are non-compliant for one or more requirement(s), there is no automatic enforcement action taken by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Division (AODD). You will, however, need to establish a compliance roadmap indicating how you plan to address all non-compliance issues. The ministry will follow up with your organization to offer tools, resources, and support, as well as determine a negotiated date in which all issues of non-compliance have been addressed. Enforcement measures, including monetary fines, are reserved for instances where non-compliance persists. Aligning with a third-party accessibility organization will support the creation of a compliance plan, which should include a clearly defined roadmap with timelines and deliverables.
If your organization has received a notice of non-compliance, learn about your next steps in this blog.
Accessibility is ongoing
If you have completed your report, met the AODA deadline, and are currently compliant, remember: accessibility is an ongoing journey. Any new digital content created or modified must also meet evolving WCAG standards. You should establish an ongoing monitoring and tracking program that demonstrates you are continually reviewing and updating digital content to meet WCAG standards, as well as a plan to fix new errors that are introduced. To help with ongoing accessibility, consider aligning with a partner who is fluent in both the WCAG technical standards and the global regulatory requirements—a partner like Level Access.
Our comprehensive accessibility solution combines the efficiencies of automation and technology, with manual expertise and legal support to help you make your digital assets accessible and keep them that way. Contact us today for a demo of our solution.
Note: In terms of website and web application accessibility, it’s important to note the actual deadline for compliance for public sector and large organizations was January 1, 2021. The December 31, 2023 deadline was the most recent AODA deadline for reporting on compliance.