Navigation Menu+

AODA and WCAG: Timelines For Website Compliance

In a previous article we provided a useful overview of the impact of AODA on your website.  AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) is far reaching although it has the simple objective of making website content accessible to all.  To help web designers achieve this, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 clearly explain what is required.

AODA symbols table

WCAG 2.0 defines three levels of compliance called levels A, AA and AAA.  Unsurprisingly level A equates to basic website accessibility and level AAA is the highest level.

The AODA regulations define which types of organization need to comply with WCAG 2.0 and to which compliance level.  It also defines the timelines in which compliance must be achieved:

Government of Ontario and Ontario Legislative Assembly

  • New* internet and intranet websites and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2012
  • All* internet websites and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2016
  • All internet and intranet websites and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2020

Designated Public Service Organizations (such as hospitals, universities and other public bodies as listed in Table 1 of Ontario Regulation 146/10)

  • New internet and web content: Compliance with Level A by 1 January 2014
  • All* internet and web content**: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2021

Large Organizations (those that provides goods, services or facilities to third parties and has 50 or more employees)

  • New internet and web content: Compliance with Level A by 1 January 2014
  • All* internet and web content**: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2021

* excluding captions on live videos and audio descriptions for pre-recorded videos

** published after 1 January 2012

 

It’s also worth noting that new websites are those with a new domain name (www.newwebsite.ca ) or existing websites that are having a complete overhaul, effectively changing more than half of the website.  Also bear in mind that the WCAG guidelines apply to not only the basic HTML template, but also to other applications or technology used on a web page such as an embedded multimedia player.

 

The timelines and compliance levels detailed above are mandatory, and companies which don’t comply are liable to be fined.  There may be exceptions if the company can prove the web content is not under their control or if they can show that implementation of WCAG 2.0 is unfeasible.  However these are the only exceptions to the rule.

 

Those companies that embrace the new challenges and ensure that their websites comply with AODA regulations will not only avoid the chance of a hefty fine, but will increase the number of visitors who can enjoy their website.

 

Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Detection Tool

Contact Us

If you have a design project and would like to get a
quote please submit the form bellow or call now:
(647) 271-7463
Your Name
Your Email (required)
Phone Number
Your Message
captcha