Everything On WCAG 2.1 Compliance.
What is the WCAG?
WCAG is an acronym for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1 Guidelines) are considered one the most important and influential pieces of protocol as it pertains to web accessibility.
Does the WCAG pertain to me?
The short answer is absolutely! In 1994, a group of web enthusiasts and computer scientists got together to form what is known as the World Wide Web Consortium (or the W3C). Since its inception, the organization has grown to over 450 members from across the globe.
That same group later launched a 25-point document outline the best practices for web accessibility. This document became the foundation for what is now known as WCAG 2.0. Today, WCAG 2.1 is the current standard.
The 4 Principles of WCAG
While the complete WCAG 2.1 document is extremely complex and overwhelming, the majority of the framework follows 4 unique pillars or principles.
- Perceivable – The way your users perceive your content through senses of site, sound and touch. This also includes issues like video captions, text, color, font, spacing or any other design elements.
- Operable – The way a user actually gets to use or interact with the site and its functionality. Take a user with motor disabilities for example, they may need the site to be entirely navigable by keyboard or site-assisted navigation as they cannot rely on the mouse.
- Understandable – The way a user understands your website. This is not just about overwhelming content but instructions and other pieces of information.
- Robust – A bit more technical but things like clean HTML or CSS code that is widely standard. This also means being compatible with any assistive technology or devices that users may have to aid their browsing experience.
What does WCAG have to do with the law?
Well, a lot! While the WCAG is not a set of enforceable laws, they represent a set of standard guidelines references within regulation.
Ever head of Section 508?
Well, you are not alone! Most people haven’t! In 2018, Section 508 thereof the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was updated and released. This requires that everyone online platforms run by or in support thereof federal bodies must be accessible for all users. This is where the referenced WCAG 2.0 Level AA is referenced.
When a demand letter is sent or a business is sued within the US for a lack of website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), courts require they reach this standard of WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliance.