Do you know if your website is compliant with AODA standards? The team at idig Marketing specializes in auditing and optimizing websites towards meeting these specific requirements!
What is the AODA?
AODA stands for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, and it was enacted to identify, prevent, and remove barriers for people with disabilities. The law applies to all non-profit, government, and private sector businesses in Ontario, and it was created to improve accessibility and provide all Ontarians with equal opportunities. The act includes several standards that businesses must adhere to, and there are penalties for those who don’t, as there should be.
Why is it important to adhere to these standards?
Aside from the moral obligation we all have to make our society more accessible for those with disabilities, there are few specific reasons why businesses need to adhere to the AODA “information and communications” standards, which apply to website accessibility specifically.
- Disabilities often create a need for web accessibility: In Canada, disabilities that involve pain, mobility, and flexibility are among the most common, and they also tend to increase the need for web accessibility. Disabilities like these can restrict a person’s use of their hands in some cases, which can make tasks like clicking CTA links extremely difficult. This is just one example, but it illustrates how something you may have thought was accessible to everyone can be restrictive to those with disabilities. It’s also extremely important to consider how accessible and functional your website is for those with disabilities that affect their hearing and vision.
- People with disabilities have spending power: You should never underestimate the spending power of those with disabilities. Studies have shown that people with disabilities tend to be more brand-loyal than other consumers when you have a website that has been designed with their accessibility needs in mind. They also influence the habits of other consumers, so having a website that is inaccessible to those with disabilities will deter their friends and family members from using your site or business as well.
- There are more laws: The regulations laid out by the AODA are some of the most recent, but they are not the only laws that deal with accessibility for those with disabilities. Both the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have multiple regulations set in place to protect the rights of people with disabilities and ensure they are not being discriminated against.
What are the penalties?
Although we shouldn’t need penalties to ensure we are providing accessible business experiences for Ontarians with disabilities, they are an effective way to enforce compliance. If your website fails to meet the AODA standards, the maximum penalties are:
- Fines of up to $100,000 per day for corporations and organizations found guilty of non-compliance
- Fines of up to $50,000 per day for directors and officers found guilty of non-compliance
Optimizing your website’s compliance with AODA standards is just one of idig’s many specialties. We utilize automated AODA scanning and auditing tools on all of the websites we build and host to ensure they are compliant with current standards and accessible to those with disabilities.
Want to determine whether or not your site meets AODA requirements? idig can help!
idig Marketing is a full-service digital agency that generates meaningful website traffic and drives high value leads to your organization. By optimizing organic content with paid advertising our custom methodology is adapted to meet your requirements and exceed your objectives.