Making Your Website Accessible
Under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), some businesses and organizations in the province are required to make their websites accessible. This means that they will have to take the needs of people with disabilities into consideration and make their websites easy to navigate and web content easy to understand. This guide will help you learn what you have to do to be compliant.
What you should do
Your website and web content must meet the WCAG 2.0 guidelines published by the W3C, an international consortium that develops standards for the internet. WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 is a set of internationally acceptable guidelines for the creation of accessible websites and web content.
The guidelines set out by WGCA 2.0 cover accessibility tools that make things easier for the different types of Ontarians’ disabilities. For instance, it includes making web content keyboard accessible to help people with mobility disabilities navigate with ease and providing text alternatives for images to help people using screen readers.
The guidelines have three levels of conformance: A, AA and AAA. Level A is the lowest level of conformance whereas Level AAA is the highest level of conformance. These guidelines make it easier for both users with disabilities and those without disabilities to access your website.
Timelines for compliance
The Provincial Government and the Legislative Assembly
2012 – New public and internal websites and their content are required to be WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant with the exception of criteria 1.2.4 and 1.2.5 (captions and pre-recorded audio descriptions respectively).
2016 – All public websites and their content are required to be Level AA compliant except criteria 1.2.4 and 1.2.5.
2020 – All public and internal websites and their content are required to be Level AA compliant.
Businesses, public sector and non-profit organizations (50+ employees)
2014 – New public websites and their content must be Level A compliant.
2021 – All public websites and content published after January 1, 2012, must be WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant with the exception of criteria 1.2.4 and 1.2.5.
How to comply
To comply with the accessibility law, you will have to work with a web developer. The developer, whether in-house or outsourced, should be familiar with WCAG 2.0 and the A and AA compliance levels.
A point to note is that it may not be possible for you to meet the requirements of WCAG 2.0 due to a number of reasons. For example, the software and tools you may have used to develop your website may have predated WCAG.
We at Khaztech manually assess your website and update it for accessibility. That way, we fix all accessibility issues including those that cannot be addressed by software and automatic assessment.
Contact Us to make your website WGCA 2.0 compliant.