Information & Communications Standard
This area of the AODA focuses on how information is communicated and accessed. It seeks to ensure that the information we provide and the ways in which we communicate that information are as accessible as possible to persons with disabilities.
The University is expected to now comply with all sections of this standard covering feedback, accessible formats and communication supports, accessible websites and our libraries.
Accessible formats and communication supports
Upon request, accessible formats and communication supports shall be provided in a timely manner that takes into account the person’s accessibility needs, at a cost no more than what is regular, and in consultation with the person making the request to determine the suitability of what is provided. This extends to emergency procedures, educational and training resources, and libraries of educational and training institutions, as well as the opportunity for an individual to provide feedback.
- AccessAbility: A Practical Handbook on Accessible Graphic Design, RGD Ontario (pdf document)
- Accessible Digital Office Document (ADOD) Project– Authoring Technique for Accessible Office Documents
- Accessibility Information Toolkit for Libraries, Ontario Council of University Libraries
- Creating Accessible Documents: Web Accessibility Tip Sheet (Word document)
- Creating Accessible Documents: Alternative Formats Tip Sheet (Word document)
- Microsoft Office Accessibility Center
- PDF Accessibility
As of 1 January 2014, under the AODA, public sector organizations shall make new internet websites and web content on them conform with the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to Level A. This requirement will extend to Level AA on all websites by 1 January 2021.
What is web accessibility?
Accessibility requirements refer to the navigation, design, and coding considerations that help visitors using different types of web-enabled devices and visitors with disabilities use the website.
The requirements of WCAG 2.0 provide criteria to assist in making websites perceivable, operable, understandable and robust for persons with various types of disabilities. These four principles are described in more detail below:
- Perceivable: web-based content and interface components must be presented in ways that all users can perceive. This takes into consideration the effect of colour, size, typeface and sound.
- Operable: all users must be able to simply and accurately manipulate all interface and navigation components, taking in account how they operate their computers.
- Understandable: content and interfaces must be clear so that all people can understand a website. Consistency of interface elements, intuition in appearance and operation, and plain language are part of this principle.
- Robust: robust websites can be reliably interpreted by a wide variety of browers, devices and assistive technologies.
The following can be considered when developing new web content:
- Understand How People with Disabilities Use the Web (W3C)
- Assess your website
- Get to know the Information & Communications Standard at the Accessible Campus
- Become familiar with the WCAG 2.0 Guidelines at the A and AA levels; review the Stamford WCAG 2.0 Map (pdf document)
- Use an online web site checker like AChecker to uncover accessibility barriers
- Install the WAVE accessibility evaluation tool as a Chrome Extension or visit the WAVE website for quick and regular checking
- Use a Contrast Ratio Checker or the Colour Contrast Analyser to make sure your colour ratio is satisfactory
- Use a screen reader like ChromeVox (free), NVDA (free) or Jaws to ensure a low vision or blind person can navigate your site
- Review the website using your only your keyboard to test its navigability. Use WebAIM’s Keyboard Testing tips to guide you.
- Engage a person with a disability for a hands-on experience
- AccessAbility: A Practical Handbook of Accessible Web Design, RGD Ontario (PDF document)
- Accessibility Language for Procurement Agreements
- Accessibility in e-Learning, Council of Ontario Universities
- Accessibility rules for procurement
- UTM AODA Compliance Reference
- Captioning Key – Captioning Guidelines
- Creating Accessible Documents: Adaptive Technology Tip Sheet
- Enabling Access Through Web Renewal (PDF Document)
- Report on Accessible Media, Ontario Council of University Libraries (includes list of captioning services)
- Resource for Educators, Council of Ontario Universities
- Summaries of the Requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation, Access ON
- Transcription and Captioning Resources & Services