As of January 1st, 2014 the next phase of the AODA (Accessibility for Ontario Disabilities Act) came into effect and there are 2 important dates to note with regard to web accessibility:
First important Date – Effective January 1st, 2014:
If you have more than 50 employees and you launch a “new website” or your existing website undergoes a “significant refresh” then your site and any of its content published after January 1st, 2012 must conform to WCAG 2.0 Level A.
So if you have more than 50 employees and need to make changes to your website now you need to interpret the new law: What constitutes a “new website” or “significant refresh”?
What is considered a “new” website?
- A website with a new domain name (e.g. www.newbusiness.ca)
- A website undergoing a significant refresh
What is a significant refresh?
- A significant refresh typically means changing more than 50% of the “content”, “design” or “technology” of the website.
What is considered “content” change?
- “Creating, rewriting, or reorganizing more than 50% of the site’s content, such as graphics, text, widgets, etc. “
What about just a “design” change?
- “Changing more than 50% of the design elements, such as layout, navigation, placement and style” means you must comply.
What is a “technology” change?
- “Changing more than 50% of the web publishing platform/model such as the content management system (CMS), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), or HTML structure” is considered a “technology” change and you must comply.
2nd Important Date – Effective January 1, 2021:
“All public websites and all web content on those sites published after January 1, 2012, must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA (a higher standard than was required by Jan 1st 2014), other than providing captions on live videos or audio descriptions for pre-recorded videos. ”
The Bottom Line and What this means to You:
The bottom line is that you will, sooner than later, need to ensure your website is accessible to Level AA standards. Now is the time to start thinking about making sure your web content is accessible at Level AA .
CMS Web Solutions can help you get ahead of your compliance requirements. But even more important is the fact that you will be reaching the widest possible audience with your website. And isn't that what makes the most sense to your business?
Full Details about making your website more accessible are available here: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/documents/en/mcss/accessibility/iasr_guides/website_en.pdf