The Act was enacted in 2005, with its purpose being to develop, implement and enforce accessibility standards related to “goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises” no later than January 1, 2021. The goal of the legislation, as it relates to websites, is simply to make website content accessible to everyone including Ontarians with disabilities.
Imagine the following scenario: you’re blind and you need to send an e-transfer, but you’re unable to access your bank account online because your bank’s website hasn’t been made accessible to the visually impaired.
Examples like this remind able-bodied people of how many things we take for granted, and why we need legislation like the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. This is the sole reason why your website must be the AODA compliant website.
This act deals with a wide range of aspects related to accessibility. But for the purpose of this blog, we are going to focus solely on websites. The rules that apply to websites in the act are referred to as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
WCAG Principles of Accessibility
These guidelines are based on four principles that outline how web content can be made accessible to everyone.
User interface (UI) components and information on the web must be perceivable for all users.
All users must be able to operate navigation and UI components, and the interface should not necessitate actions that users can’t perform.
Every user must be able to understand the information on websites and how to operate their UI.
Content on the web should be interpretable by all users, should be compatible with assistive technologies and the content should remain accessible as these technologies advance.