AODA Compliant Websites
WCAG 2.0 Level AA
Are you a public Ontario company, or have more than 50 employees? Your website will have to follow these guidelines.
What is an AODA Compliant Website?
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) guides web developers and technical coders to create a website that complies with this law. (link to the law).
These standards were developed by committees with representation from different sectors, including people from the disability community.
Beginning January 1, 2021, all public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012, must meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA other than criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions).
WCAG 2.0 is an internationally accepted standard for web accessibility developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Take a look at their guide on conformance.
Not sure if your organization needs to comply?
By law, you must make any new and significantly refreshed public website an AODA compliant website if you are:
- a private or non-profit organization with 50+ employees; or
- a public sector organization
How To Comply?
What Happens If You Cant Comply?
In case it is not possible to meet the WCAG 2.0 requirements. For instance, if you’ve used software and other tools that predate WCAG 2.0 to develop your website, you may be able to update or repair the products you used to support accessibility. If this is not possible, make sure you use software that supports accessibility the next time you refresh your site.
It may not be possible to post some content in a way that complies with WCAG 2.0. For example, it may be impossible to make some online maps and complex diagrams accessible to people with visual disabilities, you may still post the content, but you must provide it in an accessible format upon request.
However, failure to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act leads to maximum penalties:
- A person and unincorporated organizations that are guilty of a major offense under this Act can be fined up to $50,000 dollars for each day the violation continues
- A corporation that is guilty can be fined up to $100,000 per day
- Directors and officers of a corporation with fiduciary responsibility who are guilty are liable to a fine of up to $50,000 a day
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