WCAG 2.0

Tim Berners-Lee, director of the W3C and inventor of the World Wide Web, thanked and encouraged fellow Web technologists to sustain his original vision of an open, interoperable and decentralized Web for everyone in the world in his keynote speech at the Technical Plenary and Advisory Committee (TPAC) in Lisbon, Portugal last week. Moreover, topping the technical discussions of the groups chartered by W3C regarding advancements to the Open Web Platform and industry requirements for the next generation of the Web was Accessibility.

Currently WCAG 2.0 is the standard for Web sites and has been adopted globally by many governments and organizations. Next steps around expanding features and chartering new work for WCAG 2.1 by 2017 were discussed.   This includes providing and even more robust horizontal review of all W3C standard with the goal of ensuring accesses for everyone. Also, ARIA 1.1 is ready to advance to Candidate Recommendations and is evaluating implementations.

For more on TPAC read GAATES article, “W3C Global Web Experts Plan Technical Roadmap for Future of Web.” 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is collecting comments on the importance of web accessibility for people across the country who have disabilities. They are focusing on state and local government websites that cover things like voting, emergency preparedness, public schools and other government services. Comments are due on October 7, 2016. For information on when and how to file comments see the blog post on the Law Office of Lainey Feingold website.

Websites can be made more accessible by conforming to the WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines put forth by the W3C. For more information on how to conform to these guidelines visit the Service section of the Interactive Accessibility website.

Following the announcement that the regulations for web accessibility proposed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2010 under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be further delayed, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has condemned the delay. While the rule making has been delayed, many companies and organizations are choosing to conform to the WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines for Web Accessibility in advance of the final rule making. 

W3C published updates to two supporting documents for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) today:

The WCAG 2.0 document is stable. The guidelines and success criteria are designed to be broadly applicable to both current and future technologies. This includes:

Dynamic Applications

Mobile

  • Digital Television
  • Other technologies

The supporting W3C Working Group Notes publish today provide specific guidance, which includes code examples, resources and tests. They are periodically updated to cover current practices for meeting the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

More resources:

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a delay in the anticipated regulations regarding web accessibility.  The new target date for Title II (state and local governments) is April, 2016.  The date for private sector web regulations is now to be determined and not likely until 2018.

Even without regulations, however, the Americans with Disabilities Act already requires that web and mobile content, features and functions be accessible. The Department of Justice continues to file complaints and get involved in court actions confirming that digital access is required, and that WCAG 2.0 AA is the standard.  Private sector settlements and lawsuits continue to protect the rights of people with disabilities to fully participate in the digital age. The regulations are delayed.  Site and app owners should not delay in making their digital properties accessible.

Read more on the Law Office of Lainey Feingold’s website

A draft redesign of How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements (success criteria) and techniques was published November 18, 2015. The draft was published by the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group (WCAG WG).

This quick reference is intended to replace the current How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference. Comments on the user interface and the filtering is due by 2 December, preferably via GitHub, or alternatively via e-mail to wai-eo-editors@w3.org.

A new charter for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group (WG) was approved by W3C after review from the W3C Member organizations. This will allow for the exploration to provide guidelines beyond WCAG 2.0 for the first time since WCAG 2.0 was finalized in 2008.

The continuing development and evolution of technologies drive the need for new guidance. The WCAG Working Group has started developing a framework for WCAG 2.0 extensions. These additional documents will be separate and increase the coverage on particular accessibility needs.  Organizations that have policies built around WCAG 2.0 alone would not be impacted, however, authors and policy-makers would have the option to meet the guidelines in one or more of the extensions.  

Read more on the Extensions to WCAG 2.0

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