Having an accessible website means that your site is built in a way that enables anyone with a disability to interact with it. The Ontario AODA legislation kicked in January 1, 2014. It is now mandatory for any company with 50 or more employees to make their new website or new web content accessible to meet WCAG 2.0 standards. The 370,000 businesses in Ontario with less than 50 employees need to pay attention as well.
What level of WCAG 2.0 should you meet?
Think of WCAG 2.0 as the ISO standard for web accessibility. It is the technical standard web designers use to ensure the sites they build are accessible. If your website complies with WCAG 2.0, you can be assured that your site has been built properly. There are 3 levels A, AA, AAA. Compliance depends upon what type of organization you are; However, we suggest WCAG 2.0 AA as a level to comply with as it brings colour and contrast into the standard. Because developing new branding that doesn't meet accessibility standards will impact you down the road.
Web Accessibility: More than the law
Yes, for larger organizations, complying with legislation is a motivator. However, a website that's built to WCAG 2.0 has advantages beyond legal compliance such as:
- Lower maintenance costs
- Better mobile access
- Search engine friendliness
Can you read code and know if a website is built well? Most don't. So ask for a website that complies to WCAG 2.0 AA standards. You ensure your web designer will build your website properly and to web standards.
Why wouldn’t any business want those benefits?
Of course the most important reason for focusing on web accessibility is that your website is inclusive to all visitors. It's simple … it’s the right thing to do.
For more information on web accessibility services including reporting, repairing and rebuilding your website go to our web accessibility services page.