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Library and Learning Services Accessibility Help Guide: AODA

An internal guide for Sheridan Library staff to answer their questions about accessibility, UDL and AODA requirements.

Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)

Sheridan College strives to support the goals of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act , 2005, (AODA). It will establish policies, practices and procedures consistent with the accessibility standards established under the AODA, including accessible customer service, information and communication, employment, the built environment and transportation. By doing so, Sheridan is committed to giving people with disabilities barrier-free access to our services.

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, (AODA) is intended to improve accessibility and remove barriers for Ontarians with disabilities. It requires government agencies, non-profit organizations and private businesses to meet certain accessibility standards set out in the legislation.

AODA and Libraries

The AODA has particular focus on Libraries of educational and training institutions.

Section 4.16 in Sheridan's Accessibility Policy states that "when available and upon request, the Sheridan library shall provide, procure or acquire by other means an accessible or conversion ready format of print-based resources or materials for a person with a disability. 

Beginning January 1, 2020, this standard will apply to digital and multimedia resources or materials as well. 

The AODA states that "Libraries of educational and training institutions shall provide, procure, or acquire by other means, an accessible or conversion ready format of print, digital or multimedia resources or materials for a person with a disability upon request. This requirement does not apply to special collections, archival materials, rare books and donations."

So anything we put online, such as our research guides must be accessible or we must provide an accessible format  upon request by 2020 (captioned videos, accessible PDFs and Word documents, ALT text for images used, etc.).This applies to activity handouts we create for the classroom, feedback forms (one minute paper), our APA Library guides, etc. The AODA is not retroactive so what we are doing right now is fine. What this guide hopes to accomplish is best practices so we are ready for the 2020 AODA deadline.

Note: Some screen readers aren't always able to read PDF, especially if the PDF has not been created accessible so it's good to create documents in multiple formats (audio, HTML, etc.)

Accessibility at Sheridan Contact Info

Madeleine Crew - Access and Instructional Support Technician (Library)

Janice Fennell - Manager, Accessible Learning

Margaret Sanderson - Manager, Diversity and Inclusion (Centre for Equity and Inclusion)