AODA Compliance FAQ’s


1What is AODA, and why is it important for my business?
AODA stands for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. It's legislation aimed at making all aspects of public life in Ontario more accessible to people with disabilities. For businesses, this means ensuring your services, including your digital platforms, are accessible.
2Is my business required to be AODA compliant?
Most businesses operating in Ontario, especially those with 50 or more employees, are required to be AODA compliant. This includes both public and private sectors.
3What are the deadlines for AODA compliance?
Compliance deadlines vary based on the size of your organization and the sector you operate in. Generally, there have been several key deadlines since 2011, with new standards introduced periodically.
4What are the penalties for not complying with AODA?
Non-compliance can result in penalties ranging from fines for your business to personal fines for directors or officers of corporations.
5What is digital accessibility, and what does it involve?
Digital accessibility involves designing your website and digital content so that it can be used by everyone, including people with disabilities. This includes considerations for visual, auditory, motor, and cognitive impairments.
6How do I make my website AODA compliant?
You can start by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA, which is a part of AODA's Information and Communications Standards.
7Are there any tools to check my website’s accessibility?
Yes, there are several tools and services available online that can help evaluate your website's accessibility, such as WAVE or the Axe accessibility checker.
8What are some common barriers to web accessibility?
Common barriers include lack of alt text for images, inadequate contrast ratios, reliance on mouse-only navigation, and videos without captions or transcripts.
9Does AODA compliance apply to mobile apps?
Yes, the AODA standards apply to mobile applications as well as websites.
10Can I be exempt from AODA compliance?
There are very few exemptions, mostly related to the size of the organization or the nature of the content. It's best to consult with an AODA expert to understand if any exemptions apply to you.
11What steps can I take to ensure ongoing AODA compliance?
Regularly audit your digital content, provide staff training on accessibility, and establish policies for maintaining accessibility in new content.
12How does AODA compliance benefit my business?
Beyond legal compliance, making your services more accessible can expand your customer base, improve customer satisfaction, and enhance your brand's reputation.
13What resources are available to help small businesses with AODA compliance?
The Government of Ontario provides guides and resources. Additionally, there are private consultants and non-profit organizations that specialize in accessibility services.
14What is the difference between AODA and WCAG?
AODA is legislation that requires compliance with accessibility standards, including digital accessibility. WCAG provides detailed guidelines on how to make web content accessible.
15How often should I review my website for AODA compliance?
It's a good practice to review your website at least annually or whenever you make significant updates to your digital content.
16What should I do if I receive a complaint about my website’s accessibility?
Address the complaint promptly, review the accessibility issue mentioned, and make necessary adjustments. Keeping a record of complaints and actions taken is also advisable.
17Are there grants available for improving website accessibility?
There have been various programs and incentives offered by government bodies and private organizations to help businesses improve accessibility. It's worth researching current opportunities.
18What is an Accessibility Report, and do I need to file one?
An Accessibility Report is a document that organizations are required to file with the government, detailing their compliance with AODA standards. Requirements vary by business size and type.
19How does AODA compliance affect my online store?
Your online store must be navigable and usable for customers with disabilities, which includes accessible product descriptions, checkout processes, and customer service options.
20Who can I contact for more information or help with AODA compliance?
You can contact the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario or seek assistance from professional consultants who specialize in AODA compliance and web accessibility.