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Web Accessibility Compliance (AODA)

Web Accessibility Compliance (AODA) Resources

Provincial law requires that all websites must meet accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Any created or redesigned Humber website must adhere to these requirements.

  • Beginning January 1, 2014: new public websites, significantly refreshed websites and any web content posted after January 1, 2012 must meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A
  • Beginning January 1, 2021: all public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012 must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions)

For any questions related to AODA and WCAG compliance, please contact:

Commonly overlooked requirements include:

  • Ensuring all images have descriptive alt text
  • Minimum contrast ratio between text and background
  • Text captioning of recorded audio/video content
  • Use actual text vs images of text
  • Ensure PDFs are AODA compliant

Web Accessibility Audit Tools

Some accessibility audit tools are available as browser extensions and standalone applications.

Making Information Accessible

The basic requirement is to let the public and faculty and staff know that you will make written information and other forms of communication accessible, upon request. You could include a note on your website or promotional materials, create a sign or post a notice on a bulletin board.

If a person with a disability asks for accessible information or requires communication supports, work with them to figure out how to meet their needs.

You don’t have to have accessible formats on hand, but you need to provide the information in a timely manner.


This includes all print documents and information provided to the public on web sites and handheld devices.

Types of Accessible Formats Could include:

  • HTML and Microsoft Word
  • accessible audio formats
  • large print
  • text transcripts of visual and audio information

Types of Communication Supports Could include:

  • captioning or audio description
  • assistive listening systems
  • augmentative and alternative communication methods and strategies

Website and IT compliance for AODA – Software at Humber

AODA legislation does not apply to software purchased from an external vendor AND is not for public use. Not for public use means: software used by students/staff for the purpose of academics and/or college operations and requires a username and password to access.

The difference between the spirit of accessibility and AODA compliance is described below.


  • Software purchased from an external vendor does not have to be AODA compliant since it is not public content nor intended for public consumption

Spirit of Accessibility

  • Under our strategic goals, we encourage staff, managing non-accessible software at Humber, to ask their vendors of their current and future positions/plans on accessibility.
  • For future subscriptions and/or purchase of software, in the course of administering an academic program and/or business operations at Humber, please consider selecting software that is AODA-compliant.

Document Audit Tools

PDF Scanner

Resources for print materials:

Humber Accessibility Standards

Below are details about AODA standards, best practices and training for you or your Humber team to learn and follow.

  • Humber websites are required to meet all current accessibility standards set by the Province of Ontario, as outlined in the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act). This standard includes any and all PDFs distributed and/or posted to a website of a publicly-funded institution.
  • Designers and design firms hired to produce materials for Humber should be informed of this standard before any work begins and always produce materials that meet the AODA standards for Ontario.
  • The AODA standard means Humber staff and faculty must make sure that documents and materials produced with internal or external graphic designers have an end-deliverable of accessible PDFs to post to the web. This conversation about accessible PDFs should be at the start of any design project.
  • Humber staff and faculty working on web pages or websites for Humber (and internal or external web developers) should only develop and post content that is set to the current AODA standards.
  • Please note: If Humber provides a link to a student for academic purposes and the site is not complaint, then, Humber has upon request, a responsibility to provide alternate format.
  • The Ontario Human Rights Commission published the Policy on accessible education for students with disabilities. It is an excellent report on how educational institutions are on the frontline dealing with young adults with mental health challenges.
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) update: As a publicly funded institution in Ontario, we are mandated to meet and excel at these legislated standards. The Human Rights, Diversity and Equity Centre is busy building tools for staff and faculty use.
  • Making sure documents are accessible (AODA standards) when distributing to students or other Humber stakeholders and when posting documents to the web is the responsibility of all faculty and staff.
  • CALL: The Ontario Government runs a hotline for reporting violations of AODA. We have used it to check to see if we are, in fact, in violation (a help line if you will). 1-866-515-2025.

Further Training and Support:

  • Most of the free training is about all AODA standards, not specifically about how to fix a PDF or a print piece.
    Free Online Training >
  • The government website with the official Act. For the purposes of your interest in accessible PDFs for posting to the web and working with PDFs, please refer to the Information and Communications Standard, within the AODA.
    Government AODA Website >

Humber Training and Support:

  • The Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers workshops for staff throughout the year.

CTL Offerings 

  • The Faculty of Media and Creative Arts has a fee-for-service 1-day workshop, scheduled throughout the year.

FMCA Workshops 

  • The Faculty also offers a free, intro web course.

Making Accessible Media 

  • Humber is part of the LinkedIN Learning network where many videos can be accessed on “accessible PDFs”.


  • Humber’s Librarians and their network of resources are also available to help you.

Humber Library 

  • The AODA general training that is mandatory through our Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Centre. It offers an overall look at the AODA standard and does not specifically train individuals to modify a PDF for an accessible website.

Human Rights, Equity and Diversity Centre 

If you know of other AODA training opportunities, please forward to to add to this list. Please review the above and let us know if you have any questions.

Accessibility for Digital Content Creators Online Certificate

This program examines the importance of and teaches the best practices in creating accessible and inclusive internal and external communication materials.

Accessibility for Digital Designers Online Certificate

This program examines the best practices in design and production of accessible and inclusive communications.  Course will cover Adobe Creative Suite & Adobe Acrobat DC, examines WCAG 2.1 guidelines as applied in design and code.  Best practices in Testing - tools, services and devices will be reviewed.