Accessible Website Developer
in Toronto

We help organizations in Ontario to make their websites accessible for people with disabilities

And comply with AODA and WCAG 2.0 requirements

AODA Ontario FAQ

AODA stands for Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It is a local initiative currently active in the province of Ontario, Canada. AODA first came into effect in 2005 intending to ensure essential accessibility of the following 5 sectors to the disabled: information and communications, customer service, transportation, employment and design of public spaces.

For web developers and everyone who browses the Internet, AODA mainly comes in the form of digital accessibility meaning that websites must comply with the set of standards.

According to the official AODA page, the Government of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly, designated public sector organizations, as well as private and not-for-profit organizations with more than 50 employees must make their websites accessible to people with disabilities by conforming to international standards for website accessibility.

For private and not-for-profit organizations with 49 or fewer employees, there are no strict obligations under this requirement.

For designated public sector organizations, as well as private and not-for-profit organizations with 50+ employees as of January 1, 2014, the compliance deadlines are as follows:

  • New internet websites and web content on those sites must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A by January 1, 2020
  • All internet websites and web content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA save for Captions (Live) and Audio Descriptions (Pre-recorded) by January 1, 2021

WCAG has several levels of compliance, depending on their strictness. For example, WCAG 2.0 Level A and Level AA are a series of technical checkpoints that make websites and their content increasingly accessible to a broader range of users with disabilities.

Building on Level A’s checkpoints, Level AA is naturally stricter.

Basically, all of your content - anything and everything that makes it universally accessible for all categories of users, including those with disabilities. The particular features may include:

  • Providing text alternatives for any non-text content
  • Changeable font size
  • All functionality must be available from the keyboard
  • A simple, straightforward layout
  • Captions for videos
  • Clear navigation mechanisms

The list can be continued since there are quite a lot of nuances - for more information regarding your particular website compliance with WCAG, please refer to a qualified, experienced web accessibility developer or company.

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which is a series of documents published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an organization that sets and issues international standards for the Internet.

WCAG is essentially a set of recommendations, rules, and guidelines aimed at making the online content more accessible for people with disabilities. If we care about disabled people in the offline, why not take the same level of care into the online?

You can use a tool called AChecker. It is a web tool recommended by the Ontario government website for doing a preliminary check of HTML pages for conformance with accessibility standards.

However, please keep in mind that testing tools and compliance online checkers won’t find you every issue. In fact, accessibility testing tools will only discover 25 – 30% of the issues and the rest should be done by professional web developers.

In the worst-case scenario, you might be faced with a lawsuit from a disgruntled user who wasn’t able to access your website. If you are a government organization, agency or contractor of theirs, you are obliged to comply and will be fined if you don’t do so.

If you are a private entity, you might get away with it but not for long. Not only because the laws are changing from day to day and what was a “recommendation” yesterday might become a “requirement” tomorrow but also because you are not providing equal opportunities for all of your site visitors (and yes, potential customers if you run a business). Plus, it might potentially affect your website ranking (see below).

Some time ago things like mobile version and fast loading web pages were "bonus features" and a nice, complementary addition to a website. Now we all know these are an important factor for website ranking in Google organic search.

It wouldn’t be too far off if we predicted that in the next couple of years websites that have accessible features will get higher positions on Google among the websites that don't comply with basic accessibility requirements.

It is recommended to conduct quarterly reviews (or at least once each half a year) to make sure all the content of the website still complies with AODA, WCAG 2.0 requirements.

Although the AODA became law more than a decade ago, not all web developers are knowledgeable about what’s necessary and how to implement it.

The main thing you should be looking for in your potential web accessibility developer is the experience - you want to make sure they understand what they are doing and have enough similar projects under their belt to handle yours.

Our Accessibility Experts Can Help You With

  • Website Accessibility Check If you want to know the current level of your website accessibility and what needs to be improved in order to make it meet WCAG 2.0 Level A or AA, we will help you.
    If your website has been recently refreshed/updated to comply with the accessibility standards, we can also help you check the level of that compliance.
  • Accessible Web Development We create user-oriented accessible websites or web apps from scratch or redesign them completely if it is not possible to meet the WCAG 2.0 requirements with the current version because the software used and other tools are too outdated.
  • Web Content Accessibility Upgrade We analyze your current website accessibility parameters, make a project plan and refresh your website design and content to make it comply with AODA and WCAG 2.0 requirements.
  • Accessibility Compliance Monitoring & Support As a part of our maintenance agreement, we publish content to your website and run quarterly reviews of the content posted on the website by your staff to make sure it is accessible and meets the required level of WCAG standards.
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Why hire us?

Developers at Zwebra Web Studio Inc have the right expertise and tools to make your website more accessible.

  • We are familiar with all the current WCAG 2.0 requirements
  • We have developed and refreshed websites to A and AA levels
  • We write code with the assistance of programs that support accessibility
  • We test websites for accessibility using automated and manual assessments and assistive technology such as screen readers

Remember! The website built for your company today must meet or exceed WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

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