Are you worried about AODA compliance? Starting with the first day of the first month of 2021, organizations operating in Ontario must be AODA-compliant. But what does this mean?
Well, the term stands for Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It has the purpose of making everything related to a certain business more friendly and open towards disabled people – roughly 16% in the province in question.
If an entity doesn’t comply with this particular act, they risk a fine of up to $50k. Fines are applied daily, not as a one-time fee. Depending on the size of the entity, fines can go as high as $100k. This is why testing for AODA compliance is extremely important – just as important as the following five things you should know about this act!
Recipients of AODA Compliance
As mentioned, all entities (corporations, businesses, etc.) must make sure that their activities and services are compliant with this particular act. However, they must do so only if they have above fifty employees. On top of that, entities have time until 2025 to be fully compliant with the rules and laws of this act.
Moreover, all types of entities must comply – namely, those activating in non-profit, public, as well as private sectors.
The Areas of Compliance
Naturally, it might be difficult for a company/business to be fully AODA-compliant, especially depending on their field of activity. This is why the act also specified which areas of an entity must be compliant.
As such, an entity must have the following sectors comply with the act in question today: the communications sector, public spaces and design, transportation, quality of employment, and customer service.
AODA WCAG 2.0
This act particularly targets the online environment – namely the website of a certain entity. With the help of this act, Ontario aims to make interacting with the websites of local businesses easier for people that can’t access them in a conventional way.
This is where WCAG steps in – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. These specify how the website of an entity should be to ensure compliance.
How Is Compliance Tested?
To test the compliance of your entity, you need to follow four main steps. Given that the act is aimed mainly at websites, the result is almost 100% online-dependent.
You have to engage in an audit that will determine the compliance level. Get in touch with an AODA expert that will test said characteristic, run website accessibility tests, and keep yourself up to date with all upgrades related to accessibility features.
How to Achieve AODA Compliance?
Three simple and easy steps are needed to achieve AODA-compliance. First of all, assistive technology must be applied to your online website (making sure that technical and design aspects are easily accessed by disabled people).
Then, you could also rely on online checkers that take a close look at accessibility. Finally, your entity could even have disabled people to review and test your website.
These are the five most important things that entities should know about this act. Given the current world situation, it goes without saying why the online environment is the focus.
In the end, if a disabled person can fully experience your website and learn more about your entity, then you are AODA-compliant and you can contact an expert to get certified.