Skip to content

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was established in 2005 with the goal of making Ontario inclusive and accessible by 2025. The mandates by the AODA require all public establishments to adhere to the accessibility standards it has set. This impacts all businesses, non-profit organizations, and government entities.

With these standards set by the AODA, the intention is to help all individuals with disabilities that are either cognitive or physical be able to fully engage with all aspects of society just as anyone else. It is important to understand that the AODA differs from the ADA as well as it is more proactive.

Regardless of laws, accessibility is crucial in today’s world, including the online realm. It is imperative that you ensure that your entity complies with the AODA standards or face penalties in the form of extremely hefty fines.

Accessibly can help with that, as a leading accessibility widget provider that specializes in helping businesses effortlessly increase AODA compliance. We offer a range of services and tools to ensure your website and digital content adheres to these guidelines.

Couple Discussing Something On The Laptop

The Significance of AODA Compliance and Its Impact on Businesses

While disabilities include people who require wheelchairs or have other physical disabilities, there are some disabilities that are not visible. In other words, you can’t always tell who has a disability from someone who does not.

Disabilities can include vision disabilities, being deaf or hard of hearing, learning disabilities, intellectual or developmental disabilities, and mental health disabilities. Even though you can’t see every disability, it is only fair and proper to improve accessibility for everyone. Being differently abled should not affect someone’s chances of living a full and quality life.By making Ontario websites accessible to those who have disabilities, it helps everyone. This is why designing a website for accessibility can only improve your business.

Overview of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, or AODA, was created to help all people with disabilities. The goal is to identify, remove, and prevent any barriers that may get in the way for anyone who has a disability. This law went into effect on June 13, 2005, and it applies to all government agencies at all levels, non-profit organizations, and private sector businesses in Ontario, Canada with one or more employees, regardless of whether those employees are full-time, part-time, contract, or seasonal.

The AODA provides set requirements that every organization must meet. It also includes deadlines specific to each type and size of organization. It differs from the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) in that the ACA is a federal-level law that applies to all geographic areas of Canada. The ACA only affects areas under federal jurisdiction, including governmental organizations; federally regulated sectors like banking, telecommunications, and interprovincial transportation; and state-owned enterprises or Crown corporations.

The ACA relates to the AODA in that it also applies these laws to technological platforms. Essentially, this means that all websites connected to these types of industries must do their part to be compliant and accessible for all. 

Accessibility Requirements Outlined in the AODA

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) provides important guidelines that are intended to ensure services are accessible to any person with a disability. These mandates urge adherence to standards on web content, with assistive technologies, and in the application of designing with inclusivity in mind.

Here is a look at how each of these areas are affected by the AODA rules. 

Web Content Guidelines

The AODA has a section devoted to information and communication standards. Within this section, it mandates that all web content must adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA, excluding criteria 1.2.4, which applies to live captions, and 1.2.5 which applies to audio descriptions.

All web pages must be perceivable with a user interface and information components that all users can access. A prime example of this is having alternative text for images. Additionally, user interface components and navigation must be operable for all, either through the keyboard or with navigation support.

Information provided on web content needs to be understandable through readable text content and robust enough to be understood and interpreted through various user agents, including assistive technologies.


Assistive Technologies

In addition to meeting the web content guidelines, assistive technologies should be available. These include alternative keyboards, screen readers, and closed captioning. Every website is required by the AODA to ensure that it is compatible with these assistive technologies that make it possible for people with disabilities to effectively interact with the content.

Screen readers allow those who have visual impairments the ability to comprehend digital content while closed captioning and visual alerts work in tandem with audio information for those who have hearing impairments.

Inclusive Website Design

One of the most central points to AODA compliance are the inclusive design principles. These ensure that every product, service, and environment is made accessible to everyone by considering the physical, cognitive, and sensory differences each person may have.

Inclusive website design involves creating solutions that adapt to different users and their own unique needs. These requirements must be implemented to provide equal opportunities and access for people with disabilities to align with the AODA.

Keyboard

The Benefits of AODA Compliance for Businesses

It is required by law to adhere to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. However, it also provides many benefits for businesses. When you make your website accessible, you can open the door for untapped market opportunities while boosting the reputation of your brand.

Here is a look at how complying with AODA standards can fully benefit your business.

Greater Market Reach

When you comply with AODA standards, you have a way to expand your market. Millions of people in Ontario and throughout Canada will have access to your brand, and they all have spending power. You will now attract a wider audience to your products and services and have greater potential for earning higher revenue because you are giving access to this market segment.

Building Brand Reputation

As you are likely aware, image is everything, and the image your brand projects should be cast in a positive light. Compliance with the AODA contributes to a positive image. When you make your brand accessible, you align with social responsibility. You also become inclusive, allowing everyone the chance to be a part of your brand in the name of diversity.

How to Choose the Right Accessibility Solution Provider for Your Organization

The rules set by the AODA are necessary, though they can be complex. Even if you have every intention of making sure you follow these regulations, you may miss a key metric that could put you at risk for incurring fines and penalties for not being compliant.

It is imperative that you choose the right accessibility solutions, which are offered by accessibility solution providers. However, you should focus on choosing the one with expertise and experience. These providers should have a proven success record on delivering solutions that fully comply with AODA standards.

Take a look at their credentials and confirm that they are recognized by industry associations for their work on compliance. Testimonials and case studies can also give you a look at how others have found their services. Ideally though, you need a company that can provide customized solutions to fit your specific industry as well as give you the support you need.

When you take all of these factors into consideration, remember that the solutions you choose must work with your organization’s current systems and infrastructure. They should also be cost-effective yet comprehensive and scalable, able to grow with your company’s needs. Most importantly, the user experience should be enhanced through these solutions. This is why the overwhelming majority of organizations in Ontario and Canada choose Accessibly to become fully compliant with the AODA and provide inclusive access for everyone.  

How Accessibly’s Services Ensure AODA Compliance for Your Website and Digital Content

Accessibly features an array of services that are specifically customized to ensure that every website and all digital content adheres to the regulations set by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The comprehensive app allows users to adjust your website’s design according to their needs and keep current with the applicable laws. 

If you need any assistance, you can contact Accessibly’s customer support team to walk you through any difficulties you may be experiencing and guide you to the right solutions. You’ll get help with everything from coding and content to ensure your full compliance with the AODA compliance checklist with complete ease.

Why Choose Accessibly for AODA Compliance

The biggest advantage of using Accessibly is because of the innovative accessibility widget. This handy tool allows for immediate functionality adjustments to benefit every user. It can help enlarge text size and contrast alterations without you needing to change your website’s code.

The Accessibly widget also features screen reader optimization that ensures anyone with visual impairments can easily navigate your website through their preferred means of technology. Visitors can customize their options to tailor their browsing experience to meet their own needs as well. It’s an excellent tool that can help with compliance though it is not intended to replace manual audits or content adjustments.

How to Get Started with AODA Compliance

Websites must be AODA compliant by adhering to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. This means that every website must be structured with headings, lists, and descriptive links to help with navigation and understanding for the inclusivity of all users. Captions and audio descriptions in media content can help those who have visual or auditory disabilities.

For each of these metrics, it is essential to do things the right way or risk missing a crucial detail that can cost dearly in fines. Accessibly provides everything you need to easily integrate and update for AODA compliance.

Get The #1 Accessibility Widget Now

Install Accessibly and make your website ADA & WCAG compliant at a moment’s notice.

Get Accessibly App
Photo with animation

What our clients say

Great experience with this app. User-friendly UI for both mobile and desktop and helps our website achieve Accessibility requirements. The support team is amazing with their hands-on assistance for any issues that come up.

BulbAmerica

November 22, 2022

This app is worth every penny. Not only does it provide the functionality that every website needs, but their customer service is beyond amazing. I submitted a question regarding the app and received the most detailed responses explaining to me what the app does, what it doesn't, and ways to maximize it. Sharing what I learned: Based on the published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), this Accessibly app can help your website achieve compatibility. Also learned that you should scan your website using this ADA compliance tool—https://wave.webaim.org and fix the errors. Such a great app and the most helpful customer service. Highly recommend!

Dermasuri

September 1, 2022

Für Ethical Made war es wichtig, dass alle Menschen unsere digitalen Angebote nutzen können, unabhängig von ihren körperlichen und geistigen Fähigkeiten. Das ADA Compliance Plugin von On the Map erfüllt alle unsere Anforderungen an die Barrierefreiheit im E-Commerce, so das auch Menschen mit Behinderung unsere Website uneingeschränkt nutzen können.

Ethical Made

April 23, 2022

It's a great APP that works perfectly and customer service team is exceptional. Also installing the APP with very easy. Thanks!

Ecuador

January 25, 2022

We do not normally leave reviews for apps unless something exceptional has stood out to us. The level of customer support for this app was above and beyond when it came to helping us implement the app. Highly recommend!

Pristine Sprays

November 17, 2021

Does exactly what I need for a fair price! Straight forward and I didn't feel ripped off like some of the other apps. This offers great accessibility with customizable colors and positions. The installation was easy and walked me through setting up my own accessibility statement page. Thanks for making this a no-brainer for us! You earned the 5-stars!

Kiln Frog

November 3, 2021

We know of another small company that just got sued for something like $30K for not having their website be ADA compliant, so we are glad this exists! The $5 version works great for us - had a small hiccup with the display/our search bar when first installed but Kaspars from their support team resolved it within a couple of days and was super communicative and helpful. Thanks for a great easy to use product.

Stonehouse Olive Oil

September 7, 2021

Developer is quick to respond with changes/upgrades (about 2 days). I requested some changes with ARIA based on issues with accessibility checkers (e.g. Lighthouse on Chrome Developer Tools). Changes made, badda boom. Two thumbs up.

Yolk | free range design

August 27, 2021

This app has helped me make my site more accessible to customers with disabilities. It was super easy to use and customize, definitely worth the premium subscription.

GleamnGlim

March 29, 2021

As a visually impaired creator, I wanted to accommodate all my customers/visitors when accessing my shop. This app works perfectly for that, gives the visitor control of what they experience, and adds even more accessibility than most other similar apps. I highly recommend it!

Deven Rue

October 24, 2020

Great support and app functionality for stores that need a non-intrusive solution to disability accessibility.

Detail Planet

March 27, 2020

Exactly what I was looking for to assist in ensuring accessibility compliance. They've also been very helpful in assisting me customize things so it meets our site needs. Highly recommended.

FORYOURLEGS.COM

February 21, 2020

Super helpful team! Very responsive and can implement quickly and as needed. Thank you, Kaspars, for all of your help!

Rumpl

February 20, 2020

Nice app that provides easy panel access for impaired users. Support was extremely responsive to a request for minor customization - We are excited to have this in place!

Brush Hero

February 10, 2020

The tool was simple to install and immediately provided a remedy to some of our accessibility issues as we worked to update our site. Kaspars was responsive and very helpful assisting with applying some custom display requests. Overall a wonderful app!

Snow Peak

January 15, 2020

Perfect app! We love what it does to help people with disabilities and works perfectly. Thank you to the developers!

Garçon Apparel

November 5, 2019

Everyone should use this app - it’s super simple, easiest way to help your store with WCAG 2.1, ADA, Section 508 and EN 301549 compliance

The Bang Shack

September 13, 2019