In Canada, the federal government enacted the Accessible Canada Act (ACA), which came into force on July 11, 2019. The ACA, applying to everything under federal jurisdiction, is intended to remove barriers experienced by people with disabilities. The goal is to create a barrier-free country by 2040. The ACA applies to all regulated entities that fall under federal jurisdiction. This includes all parts of the federal government, crown corporations, the Canadian forces, the RCMP, banking, fisheries, immigration, inter-provincial trade and commerce, inter-provincial and international transportation, broadcasting, and telecommunications.
If the regulated entity contravenes certain sections of the ACA, this is a violation that can result in a monetary penalty. Applicable sections include the requirements to create and update accessibility plans, the duty to consult, making accessibility plans available, creating a feedback process, writing progress reports, production orders, compliance orders, obstruction, and making false statements.
Note: Criterion has assisted dozens of Canadian companies in complying with The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are technical guidelines developed by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) with the goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. A website or application that is WCAG compliant will satisfy most requirements for ADA Title III, Section 508, Canada ACA & AODA, and EU compliance.
Question: How do I know if my website application is ACA and AODA compliant?
Answer: Start by asking experts with disabilities! Criterion ensures ACA and AODA compliance by including 2 senior application developers and 3 expert auditors with disabilities on every project team! On the other hand, relying on automated website scanning tools, plug-ins, or accessibility overlays will not mitigate your ACA and AODA risks. Learn more about the limitations of these shortcuts! Learn More.
A website or application that is WCAG compliant will satisfy most requirements for ACA and AODA compliance. Today, WCAG 2.1 A & AA is considered the minimum standard for compliance.
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Criterion’s advanced WCAG online training courses are written by our subject-matter experts who have decades of website and web application accessibility compliance testing experience. Our courses are designed to provide clients with the knowledge required to create and maintain WCAG compliant websites, mobile apps, web applications, Word & PDF documents, email, and social media posts.
Successful long-term ACA and AODA compliance requires both technical modifications to a website and changes to the business processes involved in the management of the site. While our competitors focus entirely on the technical aspects of ACA and AODA compliance, Criterion also provides management consulting to assist our clients with ACA and AODA best practices in the following areas: