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This technical report describes the similarities and differences between the requirements in Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 (MWBP). Introductory information and links to related documents are in Web Content Accessibility and Mobile Web: Making a Web Site Accessible Both for People with Disabilities and for Mobile Devices.
This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.
This W3C Working Group Note is introduced in Web Content Accessibility and Mobile Web: Making a Web Site Accessible Both for People with Disabilities and for Mobile Devices. It was developed jointly by the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group of the Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) and the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
This Note was published on 9 July 2009 as a completed document. The changelog lists changes since the last version. This document may be updated in the future. Please send any comments on this document to firstname.lastname@example.org (public archive) with subject [MWBP-WCAG Relationship].
Publication as a Working Group Note does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This document may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. Therefore, quotes or references to specific information in the document should include the publication date of this version, 9 July 2009. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than a Working Group Note, which is not an endorsed W3C Recommendation.
This document was produced by groups operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the Mobile Web Best Practices Group and also maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the Education and Outreach Working Group; those pages also include instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.
This technical report helps Web developers meet both Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 (MWBP). It describes the similarities and differences between requirements in WCAG and MWPB. It is designed primarily to help Web developers who have worked with either WCAG or MWBP to learn about the additional requirements in the other.
This technical report is a companion document to WCAG and MWBP, and does not replace either of those. The actual Web Content Accessibility Guidelines document should be used to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities, and the Mobile Web Best Practices document should be used for best practices for making Web content for mobile devices.
Many MWBPs have the added benefit of partial or complete compliance with certain WCAG success criteria or checkpoints. However, WCAG is often more detailed or describes a different aspect of the same concept. It should not be assumed that following any BP will ensure accessibility or that a success criterion or checkpoint will ensure compliance with MWBPs. To ensure compliance it is important to always consult the Mobile Web Best Practices or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines directly.
W3C WAI recommends using WCAG 2.0, instead of WCAG 1.0. If your site is required to meet WCAG 1.0, you can develop it to meet both WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0.
WCAG and MWBP both aim to improve the Web interaction of users who experience barriers due to either disabilities or the device used to access the Web. However, WCAG and MWBP have slightly different approaches. For example, a key feature of WCAG 2.0 success criteria is that they are specifically designed to be testable statements. Although some of the Mobile Web Best Practices are testable, they are not all intended to be testable.
While the two documents show significant overlap in many areas, there are different degrees of overlap between individual technical requirements, so that there is not always a one-to-one mapping between them. For instance, WCAG has some requirements that are specific to accessibility needs of people with disabilities, and that are not relevant for mobile devices (for example, requirements that specifically address assistive technology). Conversely, MWBP has other requirements that are specific to mobile devices only (for example, requirements to minimize battery consumption and CPU power). However, in general many requirements are applicable for both groups of users (for example, requirements for color contrast, flexible font sizes, etc.).
The relationship between WCAG and MWBP is too complex for a simple mapping table to adequately communicate what developers need to do to meet both. For example, in some cases complying with a specific WCAG provision will meet the related MWBP; however, the inverse is not always true and complying with the MWBP provision will not necessarily meet the related WCAG provision. Thus, there is no simple mapping table between WCAG and MWBP. The document Shared Web Experiences: Barriers Common to Mobile Device Users and People with Disabilities document shows generally how WCAG and MWBP relate.
WCAG 1.0 checkpoints are Priority 1, 2, or 3. WCAG 2.0 success criteria are Level A, AA, or AAA.The Mobile Web Best Practices (BP) are not assigned priorities or levels.
Please see the following introductory and related information:
This document includes four subpages that each address a different scenario. Most people will use only one of the subpages described below:
If you are not familiar with either WCAG or MWBP:
For the latest version of any W3C specification, please consult the list of W3C Technical Reports.
This document was developed by the WAI Education & Outreach Working Group and the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group. Charles McCathieNevile (Opera Software) also contributed to this document.