Accessibility in Ontario: How the AODA Impacts Web and Online Video 

computericon1 in 7 people in Ontario currently have a disability, a number that is expected to rise to 1 in 5 by 2036.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was instated with the objective of creating a barrier-free Ontario. 

The AODA affects businesses and government organizations by imposing strict accessibility standards with major deadlines that took effect on January 1, 2014.

This 12-page brief covers:

  • AODA overview
  • Standards and requirements for different types of organizations
  • Recent and upcoming deadlines
  • Penalties for non-compliance
  • Strategies for implementing accessibility measures
  • Best practices for making video and web content accessible
  • Tools and resources for creating a roadmap to accessibility

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AODA Overview

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was instated in 2005 with the objective of creating a barrier-free Ontario by 2025. 1 in 7 people in Ontario have a disability, a number that is expected to rise to 1 in 5 by 2036. Aimed at eliminating obstacles that might prevent a person from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, the AODA regulates accessibility standards for government and business sectors within Ontario. The accessibility requirements affect five different areas of business: customer service, employment, information and communications, transportation, and design of public spaces.

The AODA is a progressive, widespread law that calls for a giant overhaul of the Ontarian infrastructure. In order to make the accessibility requirements more feasible to implement, the AODA instated a series of compliance deadlines. The cumulative deadlines implicate government agencies first, with requirements trickling down to small private sector businesses over time. This allows businesses with fewer resources more time to plan for compliance.

Types of Organization

The AODA affects different types of organizations in different ways. Because it is not practicable to impose the same regulations upon all businesses, Ontario has divided them into 5 sectors.iv This allows for separate deadlines and compliance guidelines based on size and sector. The AODA has differentiated types of organizations in the following way:

  • The Government of Ontario and the Legislative Assembly;
  • Large designated public sector organizations (50 or more employees in Ontario);
  • Small designated public sector organizations (less than 50 employees in Ontario);
  • Large private sector organizations (50 or more employees in Ontario); and
  • Small private sector organizations (less than 50 employees in Ontario).

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