Canada’s Trusted Accessibility Experts

Navigating AODA Compliance: Success Stories from Ontario Municipalities

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Introduction

Accessibility Partners has been at the forefront of ensuring that municipal services and communications in Ontario are inclusive and accessible to all, aligning with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) standards. With our expertise, we have helped municipalities make significant strides towards AODA compliance, fostering greater community inclusivity. This blog covers our experiences with two (anonymous) municipal projects, shedding light on the intricacies and achievements involved in reaching AODA compliance.

Case Study 1: Bilingual Website and Content Compliance

Project Overview

Our journey with this municipality began by focusing on enhancing its digital accessibility. The project aimed to ensure that both English and French content, including documents and videos, met the stringent requirements of Ontario’s Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under AODA and conformed to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA standards.

Scope and Challenges

Tasked with auditing and remediating over 600 web pages and approximately 1,000 bilingual documents across diverse sectors like Social Services and Emergency Services, the project demanded meticulous attention to detail. Our responsibilities extended to training municipal staff on identifying and correcting accessibility issues, culminating in certifying their website as fully accessible. This comprehensive approach underscored our commitment to fostering sustainable accessibility practices within the municipality.

Case Study 2: Comprehensive Document Remediation

Project Overview

Last year, we embarked on a mission with a town. Basically, the project was to ensure that a large variety of bilingual documents, including critical public information, adhered to the AODA and WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards.

Approach and Outcomes

The scope was extensive, encompassing the remediation of around 70,000 pages of documents, from by-laws to public notices. Our team meticulously reviewed and updated each document, ensuring full compliance with PDF/Universal Accessibility (PDF/UA) standards to enhance the accessibility for people using adaptive technologies such as screen readers. The project not only involved document remediation but also included continuous collaboration with the town’s staff to monitor and update accessibility features, emphasizing a dynamic approach to compliance and accessibility improvements.

Conclusion

These projects demonstrate a steadfast commitment by Accessibility Partners to advance digital accessibility within Ontario municipalities. Our hands-on experience, tailored strategies, and comprehensive support enabled these municipalities to not only meet but often exceed AODA compliance requirements, setting a standard for others to follow. As we continue to partner with municipalities across the province, our journey is an excellent example of the evolving landscape of accessibility and the collective efforts to create an inclusive digital environment for all citizens.

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