AODA Compliance: Website Accessibility & Compliance Services
While all organizations are encouraged, private organizations and nonprofits with 50 or more employees are required to have AODA Compliance of their websites. This requirement came into effect on January 1st, 2021. More info here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-make-websites-accessible
There are 4 components to building an accessible website:
- A Website Platform that can support all the requirements (this one can’t be added later)
- WordPress: some themes can, while some simply cannot
- Wix: minimal capabilities
- Squarespace: minimal capabilities
- The Design itself: Ensuring compliance regarding colour contrasts, font sizing, images, etc.
- Manual Accessibility Optimization: Manual adjustments that our developers do before launching the site, i.e. adding alt tags to all images, heading/text hierarchies, ARIA Labels to Buttons, Link Labels, etc.
- 3rd Party Accessibility App that uses AI in real-time to adjust the website even further to a user’s specific needs
- There are different “Pre-Set Profiles” as well as a range of customizations.
- It’s incredible because the AI changes the appearance of the website in real-time and is simple for users.
- It will remember your settings, as you can see when we refresh, it maintains your preferences.
#1 is the most important and will dictate what level of compliance can be achieved, in that #3 is dependent on the capabilities of #1
Example AODA Compliance Accessible Website Redevelopment Project:
We just did a project for a large recruitment company in Ottawa. They were served a notice of not being within AODA Compliance, and given 30 days to comply.
- We audited their site, then reviewed to determine if their WordPress theme had the capabilities required. Unfortunately, it did not.
- We redeveloped their website on an accessible theme. We copied their original design with adjustments to meet accessibility compliance. I.e. we had to adjust some of their brand colours, font colours, etc.
- Then we performed all manual accessibility adjustments.
- We then installed and configured the 3rd Party Accessibility Plugin App.
Easiest Option, but Not Recommended and Can be Considered “Access-Washing”
In some cases, it is possible to just add a 3rd Party Accessibility Application. And while this will “help” towards some features, it does not truly compliant, and it does not cover all the bases required to be truly considered accessible.
They could still be served for non-compliance and, most importantly, it doesn’t help the users you’re aiming/claiming to help.
Free AODA Compliance Audit
Curious if your website is AODA Compliant? Contact us for a Free AODA Compliance Audit. We will manually review your website (no automations/guess-work here) and provide you a detailed list of any violations. We’ll also determine an action plan to resolve those issues.
HOURS & LOCATION
1111 Davis Drive, Unit 23, Newmarket, ON
Satellite Office: Vancouver, BC
Meetings available by appointment.