Accessible design is becoming increasingly important as the internet has become an essential utility for users accessing digital content. Developing a WCAG 2.0 accessible website requires a thoughtful approach to website design and a technical approach to implementing the accessible features.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design apply to commercial and public entities that have “places of public accommodation,” which includes the internet. How can your organization’s website comply with the ADA? Currently, the WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines are the accessibility benchmark for compliance.
What are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements? How can you implement them? What resources are available for WCAG implementation and evaluation? Why should businesses care about WCA guidelines? Who benefits from them?
What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that all people, regardless of disability type or severity of impairment, can use them.
What is WCAG 2.0?
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) were developed with a goal of providing a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.
- Perceivable Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- Operable User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- Understandable Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
- Robust Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
What disabilities are addressed with WCAG?
Web accessibility relates to all disabilities that potentially affect interaction with the Web, including:
How can you evaluate web accessibility?
Although there are helpful evaluation tools (http://wave.webaim.org/) available, no single tool can tell if a site meets accessibility standards without also including knowledgeable human evaluators.
Accessibility focuses on people with disabilities, but websites and tools that are accessible to people with disabilities are more accessible to older users as well, and improve the user experience of all mobile users (particularly those without disabilities).
By being aware of and adhering to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and standards, and implementing best practices for making mobile-friendly content, web content is more accessible to everyone regardless of situation, environment, or device.
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