When it comes to creating a digital presence, ensuring accessibility is a crucial responsibility. In Ontario, Canada, the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) mandates that websites and digital content be accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.
Meeting AODA compliance standards is a shared effort between MacSites Content Managers (Clients) and the MPS Web Team.
Here, we'll outline the specific responsibilities of each party to ensure that your website is accessible to all.
Content Manager (Client) Responsibilities:
- Content Accessibility:
- Alt Text: Clients are responsible for providing meaningful alternative text for images and other non-text content.
- Image Contrast: Guidelines require that images meet specific resolution requirements for accessibility, especially when accompanied by a text overlay.
- Heading Structure:
- Clients should structure their content with clear and hierarchical headings. These headings provide structure and navigation points for users who rely on screen readers.
- WYSIWYG Links:
- Clients should ensure that links are descriptive and contextually meaningful. Avoid using generic terms like "click here" and provide clear, concise link text.
- Page and Element choices in MacSites:
- Clients should choose and/or customize MacSites pages and elements to support accessible content creation and editing.
- Clients should use the appropriate tool for the content to ensure the website fully leverages all AODA features built by the MPS Web Team. For example, using News posts for News instead of building custom pages.
- User Testing:
- Clients should regularly test the website with users who have disabilities to identify accessibility issues and gather feedback for improvements.
- Popetech Scanning & the WAVE tool:
- Clients should regularly scan the website with the WAVE Chrome Extension and/or the PopeTech scanning tool.
- Clients should have an AODA scanning strategy.
- Learning & Training:
- Clients should invest in ongoing training and learning opportunities for their content creators and website administrators.
- Clients should ensure that the content managers are well-versed in accessibility best practices is essential for maintaining a fully inclusive digital presence.
MPS Web Team Responsibilities:
- Technical/Code Level Compliance:
- The MPS Web Team ensures continuous improvements are made to the website's underlying code and that code complies with AODA standards. This includes proper HTML structure, use of ARIA roles, and ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies.
- Responsive Design:
- The MPS Web Team develops responsive and adaptable designs that work well with screen readers and assistive technologies, and which can be navigated through various input methods (keyboard, voice, etc.).
- Keyboard Navigation:
- The MPS Web Team ensures (at code level) that MacSites can be navigated using keyboard-only commands, including skip navigation links and focus management.
- Testing and Validation:
- The MPS Web Team conducts regular accessibility testing and validation. This includes using appropriate tools, conducting manual testing, and addressing issues promptly.
- Popetech Scanning & the WAVE tool:
- The MPS Web Team regularly scans all MacSites with the WAVE Chrome Extension and/or the PopeTech scanning tool to gather information related to code level compliance issues.
- The MPS Web Team maintains documentation on accessibility standards and guidelines, referring out to appropriate tools and knowledge bases as needed.
- The MPS Web Team regularly reviews best practices and stays updated on the latest AODA regulations and web accessibility standards.
Please keep in mind that the guidelines and standards are always evolving. Part of meeting AODA compliance is about learning and evolving with a constantly changing technical landscape.
By clearly defining responsibilities, we can create a collaborative and efficient approach to AODA compliance. Compliance with AODA is not just about following regulations; it's about providing an inclusive digital experience for all users.
Remember that AODA compliance is not just a legal obligation, but a social responsibility to create an inclusive online environment. By meeting these responsibilities, you can make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities while also benefiting your website's usability for all users.