AODA Compliant Web Development


What is AODA Compliance

AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) is a law that was implemented in 2005.  AODA Compliant web development applies to organizations, both public and private in Ontario, Canada.

The AODA is a law that governs how organizations provide services to people of who have disabilities.  The law governs how organizations provide services in a way so that a person is not discriminated against because of their disability.

One of the big areas that the AODA is web design and development.  However, the act covers 5 areas, including: information and communications; customer service; transportation; employment, and design of public spaces.  For this article, we will be focusing only on web design and development.

The AODA Provides Direction

There are human rights legislation in Ontario already that prohibits against discriminating against people with disabilities. The AODA doesn’t replace this, but rather it sets out clear practices and policies so that organizations can provide services to people with disabilities, without discriminating against them because of their disability.
There are approximately 1.8 million people with disabilities living in Ontario, so being AODA compliant can be good for business.

Who the AODA Applies to and When

If you have more than 50 employees and your company is located in Ontario.

  • If you launch a new website, it must be AODA compliant (you need to conform to the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines(WCAG) 2.0
  • Your website must be AODA compliant by January, 2021.

AODA Compliance Checklist

  • Non-text elements on the website, such as images, have text alternatives.
  • Understanding the meaning of the content does not depend on being able to perceive colours, sounds, object size, etc.
  • Individuals are able to pause, stop or control the volume of any audio that plays for more than three seconds.
  • Web pages and links have self-explanatory titles.
  • Text can be resized (enlarged).
  • Website functions work using a keyboard.
  • If there is a short time limit for certain functions, individuals can control or extend the time limit.
  • There is nothing on the website that flashes rapidly.

How to Get an AODA Compliant Website

Your website and web-based application my be compliant with the WCAG.  The WCAG is an internationally accepted set of guidelines for providing accessibility to people with disabilities.  There are extensive instructions and explanations of various criteria.

By following the criteria, you can get compliant.

There are also various tools that you can use to test for compliance, however they are not perfect in their testing, so it is highly recommended that non automated testing (by people) be done to ensure compliance.

Some of the tools that you can use for testing for compliance include:

General Testing

Colour Testing
Accessibility Colour Wheel

PDF Testing
Adobe PDF Accessibility Test

What If You Don’t Get Compliant

There financial penalties for failing to comply with the AODA that can be very steep.

Getting AODA Compliance Help

The Story can help you achieve AODA compliance for your website.
Contact The Story for a consultation to understand how you can get an AODA compliant website.