Technology is heavily integrated into our daily lives, and the role that the Internet played in this shift to a digitized world cannot be overstated. From web surfing and grocery shopping to online education and even real estate trading, we conduct business (and live our lives) using the seemingly endless capabilities of the Internet. Completing several tasks with the click of a button is very easy and convenient, but while completing tasks online is easy for many of us, we must remember that many that people with disabilities may find using the Internet challenging and frustrating.
If you have a website or are planning to develop one for your business in Ontario, then you are probably familiar with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). You have probably heard of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) as well. Are you wondering why the government in Ontario has legislation, the AODA, dedicated to supporting the AODA WCAG 2.0 Distinguishable Content, and why organizations are being asked to comply?
If you are wondering how this applies to your business or organization, you have come to the right place.
Read on to find out what you need to know about the AODA and WCAG, and learn how the team at Zigma can ensure you are complying with these standards.
What is the AODA WCAG 2.0?
The WCAG was developed in cooperation with numerous organizations and individuals across the world with the sole objective of making the web more accessible for people with disabilities. It is basically a set of guidelines that governments, businesses, and individuals must follow when developing any website.
If you live in Ontario, you must follow the AODA; WCAG 2.0 is the standard required by the AODA.
Making web content accessible not only entails a simple and easy to navigate website layout, it also means that the information on the website should be accessible by all viewers. The placement of text, images and videos and the overall presentation of content should allow deaf, blind, colorblind and various other audiences to view the content on your website.
Who Must Comply With the AODA WCAG 2.0 Level AA?
According to provincial legislation, all public sector organizations in Ontario must meet WCAG’s standards for websites. The same expectation applies to non-profit organizations as well as all private sector companies that have a total of 50 employees or more. Regardless of the goods or services that they provide, these organizations are legally required to maintain websites that are accessible to the public.
Even if your business is different than those mentioned above, it is recommended that you meet the WCAG’s standards. Let’s explore the reasons why you should comply with the WCAG 2.0 to reach more people below.
Why Should You Comply with the AODA WCAG 2.0?
Did you know that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 15% of the world’s population has a disability?
Ontario has approximately 1.85 million disabled citizens – that’s over 16% of the total population in the province!
For people without disabilities, reading this content may be very easy, but there are people who struggle to see what is being displayed on their screens. Some of the reasons for their difficulties require very small changes to the website’s structure or content, such as:
- The website’s contrast setting
- The size of the font(s)
- The colour(s) of the text
- The size of the words (or the spacing between the words)
A website that meets the AODA WCAG’s standards takes these issues into account, and these changes can make viewing the Internet pleasurable and accessible for visually impaired browsers.
Zigma’s Internet marketing team has a thorough understanding of AODA WCAG 2.0, how to help our clients meet these standards and how to attract more visitors to their website.
Even if you are not legally required to comply with the WCAG’s accessibility requirements for websites in Ontario, you should consider meeting them to reach more potential clients and do your part to help make the Internet more accessible for all.
If you are a business owner who is unsure if your website complies with AODA’s WCAG 2.0 Distinguishable Content requirements for businesses in Ontario, we can help! Please give us a call at (647) 556-6071 or fill out the form to ensure your website is accessible for all visitors.