Web Accessibility

What is accessibility?

Web accessibility is the inclusive practicе of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users can have equal access to information and functionality.

What is AODA?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) establishes accessibility standards for providing service to people with disabilities in five key areas of daily living: customer service, information and communications, employment, transportation, and built environment. The goal is to make Ontario accessible by 2025. The Act requires that designated public sector and large organizations meet the established accessibility standards for their websites.

What does it mean for Western?

Western is fully committed to conform to the AODA standards according to the following schedule:
  • By January 1, 2014
    New Internet websites and web content on those sites must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level A
    A website is considered new if:
    • a new domain name was acquired;
    • a new website was built after January 2012;
      or
    • an existing website underwent a significant refresh (changes to more than 50 percent of design, content, or technology)
  • By January 1, 2021
    All Internet websites and web content must conform with WCAG 2.0 Level AA (with two exceptions relating to captions and audio descriptions for video).

Content published on a website before January 1, 2012 is not required to be compliant with WCAG 2.0. However, people with disabilities can still request information to be provided in an accessible format under the Section 12, "Accessible Formats and Communication Supports."

Web content, including documents such as Word and PDFs, posted after January 1, 2012 will need to be accessible as per the regulation.

Does my website / web program need to comply with AODA?

AODA requirements apply to all websites and web content, including web-based applications that an organization directly controls or manages through a contractual relationship that allows for modification of the product.

A PDF of Western's AODA guideline for web is available

Download a copy in PDF format (PDF, 263KB)