The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) deadline is looming for many Ontario businesses. If your business employs 20 or more workers, you must file an accessibility compliance report by June 30, 2021. Fortunately, there is still time to make AODA changes. With a clear understanding of AODA, you can do what’s necessary to comply with it.
What Is AODA?
AODA was passed in 2005. The law is designed to foster communication and collaboration between people with disabilities and industry representatives. Together, these parties can develop and enforce accessibility standards
On Jan. 1, 2021, AODA guidelines relating to website compliance were implemented across Ontario. These guidelines applied exclusively to private and nonprofit organisations and public sector organisations with 50 or more employees.
According to AODA guidelines, internet websites and web content must conform with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA (excluding pre-recorded audio descriptions and live captioning). Failure to comply with these guidelines for website compliance could result in penalties that range anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per day.
How Does AODA Affect My Business?
You are required to submit a compliance report to verify that you are complying with AODA accessibility standards by June 1. If you do not complete and submit the report, you may face financial penalties.
What Is an AODA Compliance Report?
An AODA compliance report consists of yes or no questions relating to your organisation’s compliance with AODA guidelines. The report must be certified by a senior officer in your organisation who is legally authorized to confirm its accuracy.
Once you submit your report, you’ll receive a confirmation number. And, if your organisation’s size, contact information, or address changes after you’ve submitted your report notify the government of Ontario.
Can I Still Make AODA Changes?
Follow internationally-recognized WCAG 2.0 standards to assess your website. These standards verify that your website content is:
- Perceivable: All website information should be accessible to all of the senses. So, site visitors must be able to view and hear your content.
- Operable: Website functionality should be consistent, regardless of how visitors access your site.
- Understandable: Every user should have no trouble understanding your site’s content.
- Robust: Your site should work well in combination with a wide range of technologies, including assistive devices.
Ensure all areas of your site meet WCAG 2.0 standards. By following these standards, you can verify your website is easy to use by all visitors, at all times.
Don’t forget to track your AODA compliance now and in the future. Even after you submit your AODA compliance report, you should keep an eye out for ways to enhance your digital content. That way, you can ensure that your site content consistently hits the mark with visitors from around the globe.
Make AODA Changes and Showcase Your Industry Leadership
AODA compliance is a must for Ontario businesses. Your company can complete and submit an AODA compliance report and continue to explore ways to improve its digital content. The result: your business can showcase its industry leadership.