Our first AODA Webinar last week was a huge success! Thanks very much to everyone that attended!
Join us for the next free AODA webinar on Tuesday, December 8th at 9:30am.
Our AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) certified Graphic Designers: Sean S. and Christine V. have put together an interactive presentation discussing what it is, how it affects you and your business, and its design factors. There will also be helpful resources to help make your website complaint.
This is a virtual event in Zoom hosted by The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce; please sign up in advance to get the link and details before the event.
Register to the event now by going to The Chamber’s event page.
Stay tuned for even more future webinar dates! For useful info and facts about AODA visit aodawebsites.ca.
Join us on Thursday, November 19th at 9:30am for our free, AODA webinar!
Our AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) certified Graphic Designers: Sean Sanderson and Christine Votruba have put together an engaging webinar that explains what it is, how it affects your business and its design factors with resources to help make your website complaint.
Hosted by The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, the virtual event will be held through Zoom; please register in advance so that we can send you the link and details prior to the event.
To register visit The Chamber’s event page.
Stay tuned for future webinar dates! For more information visit aodawebsites.ca.
Thoughtfully used pictures on websites go a long way. Not only are they used for decorative purposes and to spruce up the look and feel of your website. When strategically chosen and placed, images and graphics become a source of understanding the information presented on your website.
When it comes to AODA and the WCAG 2.0 it is imperative that images, videos and any content that isn’t text have some form of alternative text (Alt-Text) allowing them to be accessible to those with visual impairments. When using a screen-reader Alt Text become important so that computer programs can recognize and correctly describe images on a web page. When our designers and developers create AODA websites a significant amount of work goes into ensuring your images are correctly placed and have suitable Alt Texts attached in the code to ensure compliance.
When choosing images for your websites, our designers are sure to follow W3C’s Image Classification rules to ensure Alt Texts are assigned according to the images placed on your website. Some of the classifications are as follows:
Informative: Used to represent concepts or information
Decorative: Used to enhance the aesthetic and do not convey information
Functional: Used to represent functionality on the page
Complex: Used to simplify the representation of complex data
Our Customer Success Team will ensure that moving forward when you’re updating your websites, you are prepared to make use of our tools to easily update/add Alt Text to any images that you place on your website moving forward. This way you’re ensuring that images are accessible to those with visual impairments or those with other various disabilities.
When designing your website, we enjoy being adventurous with our clients, especially when it comes to the colours you choose. Your website truly is your brand, an online reference to who you are and it’s extremely important that your design and colour scheme match who you are and what you stand for. When designing websites that need to be AODA compliant our designers and developers need to go the extra mile to ensure the colours you choose are both representative of you and fall within the compliance parameters of WCAG 2.0. This could be a tricky feat and here is why.
People with colour deficiencies and low vision may have difficulties viewing your website depending on the colours that you use. It is incredibly important that the contrast ratios comply with the requirements allowing people to receive information from your website visually. When choosing colours and fonts our designers and developers must following the following regulations:
Contrast– minimum ratio of 4.5:1
Bold & 14pt or 18pt + colour contrast ratio of 3:1
Add text labels to colour pickers
Use texture to complement colour information
Text on images should always use as high contrast as possible
Incidental/Decorative items such as logos are exempt
Colour Contrast Checkers: Web Aim Color Checker & CCA
Another very important aspect of AODA compliance is the ability to visually organize design elements in order of importance. This becomes mainly apparent when someone is using a device or screen reader to navigate content and information presented on a web page – typically this is done by tabbing on a specific type of keyboard.
In order for devices to navigate the content accordingly, headings must be strategically placed to allow a reader to comprehend the content, our designers and developers ensure the information is presented in an organized manner by making use of the correct Headings on a page:
Heading 1 – Only to be used once on a page
Heading 2 – Must be at least 1-point size smaller and follow an H1. Can have different styles
Heading 3 – Again must be smaller than H2. Is to be used as a subheading for H2 only
Heading 4 – must be smaller than H3. Is to be used as a subheading for H3 only and so on
When adding content to your website or designing the layout, it is extremely important to keep these regulations in mind. If you have any more question in regards to AODA compliance, or the information from this blog, please reach out to us!
Now that we have established the importance of being AODA compliant in a previous blog. We will touch on some of the pieces that make your website compliant. First, we need to understand the importance of compliance, in the world of digital marketing we need to remind ourselves the larger the audience we reach the better it is for our businesses. Currently 15% of Ontarians have a disability, that is 1 in 7 Canadians above the age of 15, 80% of these Canadians reported to use an assistive device. This is potentially a large untapped market for your business if your website is not AODA compliant.
Providing you with a laundry list of updates our designers and developers do when creating compliant sites would be far too granular. We will highlight main challenges and some best practices we follow to ensure your website is geared to all Canadians, regardless of their abilities. After rigorous training, our senior designers learned about the AODA’s four core principles and the twelve corresponding Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). They are as follows:
Be Perceivable - All content on a website should be distinguishable
All non-text content should have alternatives
Video content should have alternatives
Create content that can be easily be displayed in multiple formats
The level of contrast between foreground and background should be distinguishable
Be Operable – All content should be useable
Website functionality should be keyboard accessible
Provide users flexible time to read and use content
Avoid animated flashes and blinking
Provide tools for wayfinding
Be Understandable – All content should be comprehensible
Provide readable and understandable content
Design functions in predictable ways
Provide tools to avoid and correct mistakes
Be Robust – All content can be interpreted by a wide variety of users
By following the above core principles and their guidelines, our designers and developers analyze existing websites and make recommendations to our clients, after the design is complete our developers build the updated site and conduct multi-step testing to ensure your website passes all AODA requirements. Once the testing is complete your customer success manager completes a final test and reviews the updates with you.
Aside from the workflow and the guidelines we must follow to keep our customers safe from penalties, we believe we are doing our part to build an inclusive community here in Ontario. A community that abides by the law, helps our customers build successful businesses and most importantly advocate for those who may find it difficult to do so for themselves.
As the summer winds down and the cooler air creeps upon us we tend to reflect on the year that we’ve had and prepare for the year ahead of us. With the pandemic (whose name we choose not to speak), companies have beefed up their online presence. Websites have been redesigned, new functionality has been implemented to suit the ever-changing world we live in now, businesses have really stepped up their game and we love that!
With all the new changes in the world that businesses were forced to adapt to, there may be one last thing on the list… one very important checkmark to give you a head start in the new year. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) became law on June 13, 2005 – its purpose is inclusivity. Our goal collectively is to make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities by 2025 and we mean it! If you have a business with 50+ employees and a website, as of January 2021 your company and executives can be fined up to $100,000 each day that your website is not AODA compliant.
With that being said, the team at REM Web Solutions has also beefed up our game, we have implemented our internal policies and procedures to ensure that we are compliant. We have also invested in our designers to receive top training on how to design and build AODA compliant websites to better serve our customers who fall into this category.
If you are a business with 50+ employees and your website is not AODA compliant – or you simply don’t know, please reach out to us as soon as possible. We are armed to educate, help and most importantly provide you with services you need to be law abiding business owners.