An incredible 15.5% of the people in Ontario are living with a disability. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) ensures that all businesses and organizations with 50 or more employees will meet the government of Ontario’s accessibility standards by 2025.Specifically, businesses and organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors are to ensure full accessibility of their organization for all Ontarians in five key areas, including:
- Information and Communications
- Customer Service
- Design of Public Spaces
The first three of these areas can be applied to website design, which is the focus of the most recent shift to full accessibility based on the AODA. It’s called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and every Ontario website needs to comply.
WCAG 2.0 compliance
All businesses and organizations are required to be AODA WCAG 2.0-compliant by January 1,2021. This means that their websites must be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. In other words, all the information that is presented on a website must be provided in a variety of different ways to accommodate the needs of anyone who goes to that website. This means:
- Ensuring the website content is easy to navigate
- Using text to help explain images and other non-text content
- Using predictable web page layouts
- Designing the website so readers have enough time to fully comprehend the content
- Making all text readable by using at least 16 pt font for regular text and 18 pt font for headings
- Including all links in the form of a phrase
- Ensuring the content on the page is distinguishable by using a 4.5:1 color contrast between the foreground and background
- Making the content adaptable so the reading order is preserved regardless of how that content is accessed
- Providing captions and/or transcripts for audio and video
- Making assistive technology available to support readability
- Providing input assistance in the form of error identification and prevention
- Ensuring all headings have tags that help assistive technology navigate the website
How to become AODA compliant
To become AODA compliant, there are four steps you need to follow. These are:
- Conduct a website audit. This audit will determine the level of compliance on all the pages and features of your website.
- Get an AODA expert to help ensure your website design is 100% compliant.
- Test the accessibility of your website.
- Keep track of all the accessibility updates you made so you have records in case you are subjected to a website compliance audit.
There are some easy and effective ways to test the compliance of your website. These include:
- Using assistive technology to review your site and ensure the design and all technical aspects of it are accessible
- Using an online accessibility checker to check the accessibility of your website (not 100% reliable)
- Having people with disabilities to review your site and provide feedback (best method)
If you haven’t already brought your website up to AODA WCAG 2.0 compliance, the time to do so is now. At Tangentia, we have the experts who can help design your website so that you meet the AODA WCAG 2.0 standard of compliance in time for the January 1, 2021 deadline.
Contact us today to for a free AODA website compliance audit.
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Tangentia is a Platinum Partner of IBM and well as partners with Automation Anywhere, UI Path, Blue Prism, Adobe, Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon and leading enterprise software vendors. We work with customers globally with offices in Canada and India to implement their RPA strategies using an agile methodology.