The June 30 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance reporting deadline has passed. So what happens if your website isn’t AODA compliant or if you missed the AODA deadline and failed to submit the required compliance report?
Canada-based eSSENTIAL Accessibility attends and participates in various accessibility-related government advisory boards for the provincial government. We’re also in constant communication with government officials.Regarding the June 30 AODA deadline, we’ll share what the government has told us below.
What if I missed the AODA deadline?
Unfortunately, there are no extensions for the June 30 filing deadline. To avoid potential penalties, your organization should still file a report as soon as possible (even if your organization is non-compliant). You can download and complete your accessibility compliance report on Ontario.ca.
What if my organization is non-compliant?
If your organization is non-compliant with the AODA, that should be indicated in your compliance report. Do not allow non-compliance to deter you from filing your report and meeting the AODA reporting deadline. In the context of this article, we define compliance as meeting the WCAG 2.0 AA conformance requirement under Part II of the AODA, Information and Communications Standards.
If you indicate that your assets are non-compliant for one or more requirement(s), there is no automatic enforcement action taken by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Division (AODD). You will, however, need to establish a compliance roadmap indicating how you plan to address all non-compliance issues. The ministry will follow up with your organization to offer tools, resources and support, as well as determine a negotiated date in which all issues of non-compliance have been addressed.
Enforcement measures, including monetary fines, are reserved for instances where non-compliance persists. Aligning with a third-party accessibility organization will support the creation of a compliance plan, which should include a clearly defined roadmap with timelines and deliverables.
Accessibility is ongoing
If you have completed your report, met the AODA deadline,and are currently compliant, remember, accessibility is an ongoing journey. Any new digital content added or modified must also meet evolving WCAG standards. You should establish an ongoing monitoring and tracking program that demonstrates you are continually reviewing and updating digital content to meet WCAG standards, as well as a plan to fix new errors that are introduced.
To help with ongoing accessibility, consider aligning with a partner who is fluent in both the WCAG technical standards and the global regulatory requirements—a partner like eSSENTIAL Accessibility. Our Accessibility-as-a-Service approach combines efficiencies of automation and technology, with manual expertise and legal support to make your digital assets accessible and keep them that way. Contact eSSENTIAL Accessibility today for a demo of our solution.
In terms of website and web application accessibility, it’s important to note the actual deadline for compliance for public sector and large organizations was January 1, 2021. The June 30 deadline was the AODA deadline for reporting compliance.