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Accessible Website Design

As of January 1st, 2021 some businesses in Ontario require an accessible website, is your website compliant?

As a business owner, your website is an extension of your store or business. The same way you have ramps, special parking and automatic doors at your physical location, your website also needs to have a universal design that can be accessible by everyone. As of January 1st, 2021, public-facing websites in Ontario must be compliant with new legislation for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA as required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Accessibility standards are laws that businesses, public sector organizations, non-profits and government agencies must follow to become more accessible to people with disabilities. These standards cover five important areas that include customer service, transportation, employment, public spaces and information and communication.

Why does my website need to be accessible?

AODA website compliance is important to stay in line with the new legislation, and also to better serve your customers and clients. Here are some important facts and figures about accessibility that you should know:

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Over 6.2 million people in Canada have a disability that can affect their online experience.

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The global disposable income of people with disabilities and their families is $8 trillion.

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A huge number of baby boomers are online that require accessibility or will require accessibility in the coming years.

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An upcoming algorithm update from Google may eventually accessible websites higher than those that are not accessible.

Your Website Compliance Checklist

If you want to know how to make a website accessible, the following tips and principles have been outlined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), on which provincial requirements are based:

  • Websites must be perceivable, operable, understandable and robust
  • Web content must aim for a minimum reading level
  • Heading tags must be used for assistive technologies
  • All images must contain alt text
  • Use phrases for links to tell the user what to expect, rather than simple commands
  • The use of audio and video captions
  • A 4:5:1 colour contrast ratio between foreground and background colours
  • Users must be able to stop or pause time-based media
  • All web content must be keyboard accessible
  • Timed content must give appropriate time for users to read and comprehend the information
  • All text must have options to be enlarged
  • Web pages and related technologies must clearly state their purpose
  • Support and assistance must be available to correct any mistakes or errors
  • And more

Working with WEB ROI for an AODA Compliant Website.

As a digital marketing agency, we have investigated and considered what AODA compliance means for your website. Whether you are an existing WEB ROI client, or you’re not a client and just need help making your website accessible, we have the tools and the experience to get it done for you.

Websites that need to change could face large fines for every day they are not in compliance, so if you want to keep up with the current legislation and avoid any penalties associated with non-compliance, take action today and get the process started.

Let us help you get your website accessible today!

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