Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is what guides web developers and technical coders to create a website that complies with this law. These standards were developed by committees with representation from different sectors, including people from the disability community.
A limited time frame is given by the Ontario government within which government, public-sector groups and organizations of different sizes must comply with the accessibility standards.
Improving the accessibility of your company's website and making it AODA Compliant websites to individuals who are visually impaired, hearing impaired, or those who must navigate by voice is not a difficult task.
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Here are some common ways businesses can address accessibility issues associated with their web content:
Create alt tags for all images, videos and audio files.
Alt tags allow users with disabilities to read or hear alternative descriptions of content they might not otherwise be able to view. Alt tags describe the object itself and, generally, the purpose it serves on the site.
Create text transcripts for video and audio content.
Text transcripts help hearing-impaired users understand content that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.
Identify the site's language in the header code.
Making it clear what language the site should be read in helps users who utilize text readers. Text readers can identify those codes and function accordingly.
Offer alternatives and suggestions when users encounter input errors.
If a user with a disability is encountering input errors because of their need to navigate the website differently, your site should automatically offer recommendations as to how visitors can better navigate to the content they need.
Create a consistent, organized layout.
Menus, links and buttons should be organized in such a way that they are clearly delineated from one another, and are easily navigated throughout the entire site.
There are other ways businesses can create an accessible website for users with disabilities. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in disability law is a must for businesses concerned about ADA compliance.
By making a good-faith effort to achieve reasonable accessibility for users with disabilities, businesses can get ahead of the regulatory curve in developing a compliant website and avoiding potential lawsuits. Moreover, designing a compliant website can lead to more sales and better ranking on search engine.