We’ve been asked to comment on a whirlwind of activity around AODA or the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. In our Fall Seminar series, we learned that AODA has very specific timelines in place that mandate specific compliance for organizations with over 20 employees. One of the early deadlines just passed, January 1, 2014. By this time, organizations must be WCAG A compliant and have an accessibility plan outlined and documented. AA compliance accrues to a future date.
This is having some specific impact on organizations which have not put a plan in place, and notably, one of the largest property & casualty insurers in North America recently sent out a notice to all Ontarian customers informing them that:
“Due to technical limitations, starting December 8th 2013, most or possibly all documents you view online will no longer be available. Unfortunately, this is a necessary step as we improve the overall accessibility of our site.”
In the age of online customer service in which virtually all organizations not only have extensive website service channels, they actually use the website to reduce more expensive call center traffic. The impact in terms of brand damage and sheer cost we know is huge.
This is completely avoidable. The technology exists to quickly remediate websites, but even beyond that, there is now readily available technology to remediate high volume insurance documents, insurance cards, policies, bills, notices, claim letters, and the like. Don’t let this happen! Attend an Actuate webinar or seminar on document accessibility and find out what you can do!