Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
If your organization operates or does business in Ontario, we can help you meet AODA digital accessibility compliance requirements and achieve sustainable web accessibility programs with comprehensive, easy-to-use solutions. Discover what your organization needs to improve accessibility processes, meet complex legal requirements and enhance your user experience today.
What is AODA?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a law established by the government of Ontario in Canada to develop and enforce accessibility standards for government, businesses, nonprofits, private and public sector organizations. The goal is for the province of Ontario to be accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. The AODA includes specific requirements that define whether or not something is accessible and deadlines for meeting and reporting on compliance. It places significant emphasis on process-oriented requirements.
For example, all organizations regardless of size are obligated to train their teams on accessibility and the legal responsibilities employees have towards providing accessible digital experiences. There also must be a way for people with disabilities to give feedback or ask for help. Employment practices must be accessible and all organizations with more than 20 employees must formally report on their accessibility progress to the Ontario government.
How to meet Canada web accessibility compliance requirements and deadlines
The Ontarian government is very clear that the goal of the AODA is to integrate accessibility policies and considerations into the day-to-day processes and operations of all public and private organizations in Ontario. If your organization is subject to AODA web and digital accessibility requirements, here are some steps you can take to help ensure your compliance:
- Speak to your organization’s legal counsel to make sure you understand the scope of the requirements and any deadlines you need to be aware of.
- Map out how your organization is currently meeting requirements to provide different materials in an accessible format and note which of those materials are web-based or presented in a digital format.
- Discuss future web properties your team is working on and how you plan to ensure those properties are accessible.
- Provide digital accessibility training for your teams that generate web content and digital materials and seek consulting help.
Start by investigating tools and other ways to support and facilitate your teams to build accessible content.
Important AODA Applicability and Deadlines
|Law Parameters/Law||Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)|
|# of Canadian-based employees||1+ employee(s) in province, additional requirements for 20-49 and 50+|
|Type of Business||All government entities, businesses, and nonprofits|
|Deadlines and Reporting Requirements||Accessibility Progress report due:
AODA Digital Accessibility Requirements
Organizations with fewer than 20 employees must:
- Create accessibility policies
- Train staff and volunteers on accessibility requirements that apply to their jobs, the Ontario Human Rights code, and accessible customer service
- Consider accessibility when purchasing/designing self-service kiosks
- Provide accessible customer service and information in accessible alternative formats upon request
- Implement accessible employment practices
Organizations with 20 to 49 employees (in addition to previous requirements) must:
- File an accessibility compliance report every three years
Organizations with 50 or more employees (in addition to all previous requirements) must:
- Publish accessibility policies
- Publish a multi-year accessibility plan
- Document an accessible customer service policy to provide upon request
- Make public websites accessible (WCAG 2.0 Level A+AA)
Blog What your organization needs to prepare for Canada digital accessibility laws
Blog Not a Checklist: Building Accessibility Compliance into Your Business Processes
Benefits of AODA Compliance
Serving a wider audience
Accessible content will widen you available target audience opening new revenue opportunities
Decreased legal risk
Organizations who actively pursue accessibility excellence are better positioned to address claims and avoid costly violations
Increased search presence
Providing transcripts for audio visual files are discoverable by search engines
Better overall user experience
Studies show that optimizations made in UI/UX for accessibility also benefit people without disabilities
How Deque Can Help
As the global leader in digital accessibility with over 20 years of experience helping organizations with meeting compliance requirements, improving internal operations, and reporting on accessibility programs, Deque is your trusted partner in digital accessibility.
Whether you’re responding to an immediate need, or building the foundation for a sustainable and long term digital accessibility practice, we provide the most comprehensive and complete suite of tools, services and training available. Our accessibility library has been downloaded 900,000,000+ times. Our accessibility testing extensions have been downloaded 875,000+ times, and we’ve completed 5,000+ projects.
Most accessibility projects begin and end with an audit – they assess the current state of your digital accessibility resulting in a clear accessibility report.Learn More about accessibility audits
Getting help from our team of experts will ensure your accessibility fixes will meet your compliance requirements as quickly and effectively as possible.Learn More about accessibility remediation
axe Testing Tools
The axe DevTools, axe Auditor and axe Monitor products enable accessibility experts and development to test and maintain accessibility end-to-end.Learn More about the axe Tools Suite
Are you ready to meet AODA compliance requirements, embrace digital equality and create accessible digital experiences?
Deque helps guide you through the process in choosing the right tools for your organization.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s a law that sets out accessibility standards for organizations in Ontario. The aim of AODA is to make Ontario more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. To identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities is important to the government of Ontario.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, or AODA , aims to identify, remove, and prevent barriers for people with disabilities.
Standards relating to 5 areas: customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation, and the built environment (buildings and outdoor spaces).
The AODA sets accessibility standards for information, communications and other technology areas. All websites must be compliant by 1 January 2021.