News | January 23, 2020

Website Accessibility - Time is Ticking for Ontario

We have been connecting with accessibility experts on how AODA will affect our clients in Ontario and soon enough Canada. While Ontario is the first province to be mandated to comply by the end of 2020, more provinces will follow. Below is key info on next steps.

By Giuseppe Simpatico

The digital world has become so consuming at every touchpoint in our lives, that is in a very real sense, how we now experience the world. Think about it. We do everything online; building relationships, ordering meals, consuming entertainment, right down to purchasing day-to-day necessities. It’s how we work, how we play, how we live.

However, around 15% of our population has a disability that can hinder them from using the everyday digital tools we love. Can you imagine life restricted to living offline, unable to navigate the platforms that now support our daily life, in some very essential and meaningful ways?

Creating an accessible website requires proper planning and understanding of the long list of WCAG requirements. Some of the items to consider are text screen readers, descriptive alt text for images, sharp colour contrast, captions to videos, and making sure the user can navigate the website with only a keyboard. And even once your site launches, continually monitoring all new improvements or content uploads is recommended to remain compliant with accessibility standards.

Why Accessibility Matters from Siteimprove Inc on Vimeo.

If you have an Ontario-based private or public business with 50+ employees, AODA Compliance will impact you.

In the last six months, CREW has taken the initiative to be proactive regarding website accessibility. We have been connecting with accessibility experts on how AODA will affect our clients in Ontario and soon enough Canada. While Ontario is the first province to be mandated to comply, more provinces will follow. Below is critical info on next steps for 2020.

Ontario Deadline

A business with 20-49 employees, you must file an Accessibility Compliance Report by December 31, 2020.

A business with 50 or more employees must file an Accessibility Compliance Report by December 31, 2020. And you must make all websites and web content accessible by January 1, 2021.

Fines

Ontario organizations that fail to comply could face a fine of up to $50,000 – $100,000 per day of non-compliance.

Training

Ontario offers free training to businesses to succeed with accessibility.

Want to learn more about the key information business owners need to know? Head over to our friends at Equidox.

Interested in guidelines for website accessibility? Check out this list from Siteimprove.


If you need support ensuring your website presence is compliant and not at risk of being fined, reach out to our team. We’d love to connect with you if you have any questions, or need help understanding how this impacts your business. CREW’s web team is prepared to help.

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