The AODA Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act is law that was put in place to reduce discrimination against persons with disabilities. While the AODA addresses much more than websites, this document addresses how the AODA impacts your website design.
The AODA is Law
If you have an Ontario, Canada based company and you have more than 50 employees, the AODA impacts you.
- your next website must be AODA compliant
- or, if you don’t get a new website, your existing website must be AODA compliant by 2021
This is not a suggestion, it’s the law in Ontario.
If you don’t live in Ontario but you want your website to be easily usable by people with disabilities, you can consider the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines. The AODA’s section on Accessibility with regard to website’s is based primarily on the WCAG 2.0 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. This guideline covers a wide range of recommendations that make websites more accessible for people with disabilities.
What the AODA?
The AODA is a law for Ontario businesses and government organizations. It requires Ontario based companies with more than 50 employees to:
“benefit all Ontarian’s by: developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards in order to achieve accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises on or before January 1, 2025; and providing for the involvement of persons with disabilities, of the Government of Ontario and of representatives of industries and of various sectors of the economy in the development of the accessibility standards.”
AODA Executive Summary
Here’s a list of the main areas of functionality that are required for an AODA compliant website, regarding design and development.
- Colour contrast needs to be high. (note: black and white is the highest colour contrast)
- Text should be resizable up to 200% without changing the functionality of the website
- Website pages need to be easily understandable
- Content needs to be focused
- The purpose of all links must be clear
- Menus have be consistent throughout the website
- The website needs to be able to be navigated with a keyboard
- No keyboard traps where if user goes to a certain page, they can’t get out
- Transcripts are needed for any audio or video
- If there is an error, it needs to be easy to understand what the error is
- The information and how to use the forms must be easily understood
Testing Your Website for AODA Compliance
There’s a number of tools that you can use for testing ensure you have an AODA compliant website. Since AODA website regulations closely mirror the WCAG 2.0 compliance, the following tools can be helpful for you.
General Testing Tools
Testing for Colours
AODA in More Detail
If you want to learn more about getting an AODA compliant website, here’s some more resources for you:
The Story Web Design & Marketing provides web design and development to companies who need an AODA compliant website or one that aligns with the WCAG 2.0 regulations. If you would like an audit or a consultation, please contact The Story at 800- 349-3394.