ACA & AODA Compliance

What We Do

Since 2001, Criterion has provided expert web and mobile WCAG accessibility testing solutions (ADA, Section 508, AODA, and Directive (EU) 2016/2102) to businesses and government agencies in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, and many other countries across the globe.  By utilizing our audit teams that specialize in manual WCAG testing, training, and technical support, we help clients achieve long-term WCAG compliance for their:

Websites

Web Applications

Mobile Apps

Software

What is the AODA?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is an Ontario law mandating that organizations must follow standards to become more accessible to people with disabilities. The goal for the province is to be fully accessible by 2025. All levels of government, private sectors, and non-profits must comply with this legislation.

  • Beginning January 1, 2021: All public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012 must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions)

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

The AODA allows for monetary penalties for any violation to the Act. The maximum penalties under the AODA include:

  • A person and unincorporated organizations that are guilty of a major offence under this Act can be fined up to $50,000 dollars for each day the violation continues
  • A corporation that is guilty can be fined up to $100,000 dollars per day
  • Directors and officers of a corporation with fiduciary responsibility who are guilty are liable to a fine of up to $50,000 dollars a day

"Real World" Web Accessibility Auditing

At Criterion, we believe the best way to ensure your website or application is truly WCAG compliant is to ask accessibility experts with disabilities!  “Real World” web accessibility auditing requires input from WCAG experts with disabilities because, in the world of AODA web compliance, their disability is a skill set people without disabilities can’t replicate!

Caution:

Web Accessibility Scanning Tools

Automated web accessibility scanning tools and artificial intelligence (AI) use algorithms to inspect the HTML markup of websites. Unfortunately, these automated tools capture less than 20% of all WCAG failures. Remember, the majority of WCAG guidelines require testing with assistive technologies (screen readers, voice recognition, keyboard only navigation, etc.) to determine compliance.

Website Accessibility Plugins & Website Accessibility Overlays

The only way to bring a website into WCAG compliance is to repair all relevant HTML markup and source code errors. Companies that install “website accessibility plugins” or “website accessibility overlays on their websites will remain inaccessible to people with disabilities and at continued risk for monetary damages under AODA.

Companies are responsible for ensuring their website supports widely used professional-grade assistive technologies, not forcing less robust accessibility features on customers with disabilities via the use of accessibility plugins or accessibility overlays.

Compliance Target

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are technical guidelines referenced when testing for AODA website accessibility. Today, WCAG 2.0 A & AA is considered the minimum standard for AODA website compliance.

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Online Training Courses Available!

Criterion’s web accessibility training courses are written by Criterion’s subject-matter experts and designed to provide the knowledge required to create and maintain WCAG compliant websites, applications, and documents.

Note: Criterion’s online training courses are only available as part of our AODA compliance audit services.

  • Course #1:  “Introduction – Understanding Web Accessibility”
  • Course #2:  “Advanced – WCAG Testing & Repair Techniques”
  • Course #3:  “Advanced – Creating Accessible Word & PDF Documents”
  • Course #4: “Advanced – Mobile WCAG Testing & Repair Techniques”

Our Clients Include

The Business of Web Accessibility

From a technical perspective, achieving immediate AODA web and mobile compliance is straightforward process that requires a management mandate, IT resources, and budget. However, Criterion’s premium web accessibility package also assists clients with long-term WCAG compliance by introducing best practices in the following areas:

Accessibility Tools Selection

Govt. Contract Support & VPATs

Vendor Management Support

WCAG Legal Support

Advanced WCAG Training

Marketing Accessibility

Corporate Communications

Web Accessibility Statements