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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the AODA?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is a provincial legislation that ensures those who suffer from any type of disability do not experience barriers, discrimination, or difficulty with their day-to-day experiences. More details about the AODA can be found at this website.
Why is my websites concerned with the AODA?
McMaster University is an institution that is affected by the AODA and therefore must comply with the legislations that it contains, including those on information accessibility.
What website standards are required by the AODA?
The required website standards are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0, Level 2 (WCAG 2.0 AA). The legislation however does not require websites to conform to Success Criterion 1.2.4 and 1.2.5. As a rule in the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, you must also provide a proper semantic markup using XHTML or some similar standard.
Do we have to have the WCAG badge at the bottom of our we page?
No. This is voluntary but will show you are making an active effort to provide WCAG compliance.
Isn't my website already accessible?
The chance is low. Making a typical website is never WCAG accessible because specific mechanisms are required in your website by these guidelines. If you can't validate your website with the W3C Validator, then your website is definitely not accessible.
I have ensured a certain accessibility feature has been implemented. Does that mean my website is now accessible?
No. You must implement every guideline that is outlined by WCAG 2.0 on a Priority 2 (AA) level.
Are there any automated programs that automatically evaluate website accessibility?
Yes, but this evaluation is not complete. There are manual checks that need to take place to ensure total compliance.
Are there any automated programs that automatically refine and edit web pages into WCAG 2.0 compliance?
Not very effective ones. Creating compliance is a manual process that requires a certain habit of coding and thorough knowledge of the WCAG Guidelines.
Do I have to compromise the design, look, and feel of my web page when ensuring compliance?
Almost never! Compliance is created through back-end semantic markup. When markup is changed, you can refine the resulting appearance changes by using CSS wherever necessary.
Once I make my web pages compliant, do I have to worry about these guidelines anymore?
Absolutely. These guidelines and rules will change how you code and design your public institution web pages for the rest of your career.
Why are there so many rules and guidelines in WCAG 2.0?
Not all disabled users have one method to access a web page, nor do all people have the same disability. These guidelines are comprehensive and cover all of the potential issues that a user may come across as a disabled person.
My web page passes the W3C Validator, does that mean my web page is compliant?
No. Validation is just one of the success criterion that is specified in the entire WCAG standard.
What are the consequences of not complying to WCAG standards?
A major consequence of not complying to standards is that you are creating a barrier between your information and disabled persons trying to access it. Also, while this page does not serve as legal aide, if you are not in compliance with these standards you will be violating provincial law.

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