The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is a law that organizations in Ontario must follow. It mandates that every organization in Ontario must follow accessibility standards and have an accessibility policy to make their company assets more accessible to people with disabilities.
The AODA standards apply to all organizations operating in Ontario with one or more employees, including all municipalities in the province, ministries and agencies of the provincial government, nonprofit organizations, and businesses.
There are five standards under the AODA law:
- Information and communications.
- Design of public spaces.
- Customer service.
The accessibility guidelines apply to how businesses provide products and services, their hiring process, and their business structures, such as their office. Organizations should have accessibility policies and actionable commitments that outline how they identify, remove, and prevent accessibility barriers.
AODA compliance also means training staff and volunteers on AODA standards and best practices.
All employees and volunteers of Ontario organizations, regardless if they are in paid or unpaid positions, need to receive proper AODA training.
Anyone that participates in an organization’s policy and decision-making process or that provides goods, services, and facilities on behalf of an organization requires AODA training as well.
There are specific timelines that organizations should follow to ensure they are not penalized for being non-compliant with accessibility standards.
- By 2020, all organizations that produce educational or training material need to make their materials AODA compliant.
- Starting January 1, 2021, all internet websites and web content must conform with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)0 Level A and AA requirements (excluding live captioning and audio description).
- By the end of 2021, all organizations must file an accessibility report.
- By 2025, all organizations in the province should be fully accessible.
If you need help making your website and other digital marketing assets AODA compliant, contact us for help today.