If you are responsible for managing an OISE website, you need to be aware of AODA legislation and compliance requirements, the WCAG 2.0 standard, OISE style guides and accessible templates, as well as the best practices for providing web content in a manner that is accessible to all audiences.
Accessibility is becoming increasingly integrated into all parts of life, ranging from how we design public spaces to accessible communications. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), became law in 2005. The purpose of the law was to create an accessible province within 20 years.
AODA consists of five integrated Accessibility Standards that came into force in 2011. One of them is the Information and Communication Standard.
The AODA’s requirements mean that, by January 1, 2021, all OISE internet websites, published documents and web applications must be compliant with an international standard called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 AA (WCAG 2.0 AA). This means that every webpage must pass 56 testable success criteria in order to be considered accessible and comply with the requirement. Currently there is no single computer-generated tool that can test for complete compliance; rather, testing your content for accessibility requires a set of tools in combination with human attention.
Please peruse Education Commons’ Web Accessibility services page to learn about available tools and resources to help you think about accessible design principles, based on the philosophy that every person, regardless of circumstance, deserves access to information.
- Build your awareness of the need for web accessibility: see the relevant section of the AODA
- Think about website design and content with accessibility in mind
- Consult with Education Commons if you have questions
- Monitor your site for accessibility issues; see our Accessibility Tools and Resources page to find out how.
When thinking of website design, please consider the following:
- Avoid flashing or flickering content.
- Provide meaningful link text.
- Avoid reliance on visual characteristics of content to communicate meaning.
- Make your images accessible (esp., provide alt text where appropriate).
- Provide sufficient colour contrast.
- Design for keyboard accessibility (so non-mouse users can use your pages).
- Produce accessible media (this may mean providing transcripts to accompany audio or video).
- Provide predictable behaviour.
- Create accessible forms.
- Avoid PDFs.
- Be mindful of tables and their purpose (good for presenting tabular data, not for page-layout purposes).
- Do not use images of text. Just use text.