Skip to Main Content

news - 23.9.2020

Your Deadline is Looming: Preparing for Ontario’s January 1, 2021 Website Accessibility Requirements

So, how much do you know about WCAG? That's the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, in case you were wondering. If your business has operations in Ontario, and your answer is anything other than “I know about WCAG! I’m all about that WCAG 2.0 Level AA!”, we're about to sound an alarm: If you’re a public sector organization or a private or non-profit organization with more than 50 employees, your website needs to be accessible up to specific standards by January 1, 2021. At the time of this post, that’s just 100 days away.

Because AODA - Accessibility for Ontarioans with Disabilities Act - is an Ontario law, businesses that fit the criteria above could face fines for not meeting success criteria set out by the government in 2005. For corporations, non-compliance by January 1, 2021 could result in fines up to $100,000 for each day in violation until success criteria are met. According to the act, directors and officers of corporations have a responsibility of ensuring compliance with AODA.

As of January 1, 2021: All public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012 must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA.

If you're feeling motivated to make these key improvements in Q4, you're not alone! In the last few weeks our team has been hard at work preparing detailed accessibility audits and recommendation plans for everyone from Canada's financial institutions to startups like Ottawa's Tehama, who realized that their success of exceeding 50 employees as a private company also brought the onus of meeting AODA guidelines.

But have no fear (well, slightly less fear, anyway) - we’ve got a handy tool to quickly help you understand where your website stands against some of the main requirements. Run through the questions and get a quick evaluation. Just tap or click the chat bubble on the lower right hand side of this page, or click here to use the tool full screen in a new browser tab.

Of course, we’re here to help, too. In the end, being compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA requirements means you’re providing a good user experience for your visitors, and we're all about helping with user experience. The best way to know what needs to be done to improve that experience is to run an audit on your website. For that, we leverage manual and automated accessibility tools. Best of all, the results can be delivered quickly so you’ll know what needs to be fixed, fast. Contact us and we can get rolling.