The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) sets the main international standards for the World Wide Web and its accessibility. W3C created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) which are similar to Section 508, but on an international level. WCAG 2.0 requires specific techniques for compliance and is more current than Section 508.
Many countries and international organizations require compliance with WCAG 2.0. The guidelines are categorized into three levels of compliance: A (must support), AA (should support), and AAA (may support). Representatives from the accessibility community around the world participate in the evolution of these guidelines.
WCAG 2.0 is ISO/IEC 40500
WCAG 2.0 is formally recognized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as an ISO/IEC JTC 1 Standard (ISO/IEC 40500:2012). For compliance with ISO/IEC 40500 there are extensive supporting resources from W3C WAI.
How do you comply with WCAG 2.0?
For managers, developers, policy-makers, and others there are many resources from W3C WAI:
- WCAG 2.0 Overview
- WCAG 2.0 at a Glance
- How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A Customizable Quick Reference
- Techniques for WCAG 2.0
- Understanding WCAG 2.0
- W3C Authorized Translations of WCAG 2.0
Who needs to follow the WCAG guidelines?
All organizations, Federal and State agencies, and educational institutions should look to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines to provide guideance on how to make products acccessible.
Section 508 is currently undergoing a refresh and will be requiring compliance with these guidelines for all Federal agencies and those who are selling to the Federal guidelines. The Department of Justice is also looking to these guidelines for the set of guidelines that organizations will need to comply to under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
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