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[DRAFT] How to Transition Your Web Site from WCAG 1.0 to WCAG 2.0

Note: This old draft has been superseded. A more recent draft is available, and the final version will be available from the WCAG Overview.

Note: This document is a draft in development, and should not be referenced or quoted under any circumstances.
$Date: 2008/11/21 14:02:34 $ changelog]

Page Contents

[changelog: Review the approach of the document so that the primary focus is Step 3 with the introduction covering 1 and 2]


This document provides key steps for designers, developers, and project managers transitioning Web sites from Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 to WCAG 2.0. [See the Benefits of Transitioning to WCAG 2.0 for...]

The accessibility work that you did for WCAG 1.0 will be useful for meeting WCAG 2.0. In most cases only minimal work will be needed to transition to WCAG 2.0. Sites that meet WCAG 1.0 will already be a long way to fulfilling WCAG 2.0 and should not require significant changes in order to meet to WCAG 2.0.

[changelog: WCAG 2.0 builds on wcag 1.0. WCAG 2.0 is backwards compatible with WCAG 1.0, meaning that it is possible to update your Web site in a way that will meet both.] WCAG 2.0 builds on WCAG 1.0 and is backwards compatible with WCAG 1.0. If your site is required to meet WCAG 1.0, you may choose to update it to meet both WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0.

[changelog: Add an image of a venn diagram to show the overlaps and differences of WCAG 1.0 and 2.0]

[The following steps... @@... links to documents that provide additional guidance for each step.]

[changelog: Review the approach of the document so that the primary focus is Step 3 with the introduction covering 1 and 2]

Step 1. Learn the Basic Differences

Resource: Overview of WCAG 2.0 Documents

Read the Overview of WCAG 2.0 Documents to learn how WCAG 2.0 differs from WCAG 1.0 in approach and terminology, such as "Checkpoints" and "Priority" in WCAG 1.0, versus "Success Criteria" and "Levels" in WCAG 2.0.

Note: What we refer to as "requirements" in this document include the WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints and the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria.

Step 2. [Decide | Decare | Understand | Know | Re-examine Your Conformance Levels | Define Your Conformance Parameters]

Resource: WCAG 2.0 Conformance
Note: The WCAG 2.0 conformance [model|scheme] is being significantly revised; it will be available in 2007.

Read WCAG 2.0 Conformance to learn:

[changelog: Look at the first full sentence and edit it to audience for whom the conformance level is already defined] In order to know which WCAG 2.0 requirements you need to meet, first you need to define your target conformance level.

Your conformance level might be impacted by regulations for your country, region, or type of organization. For example, you may be required to meet Level 1 and Level 2 Success Criteria, called "Double-A (AA)". Legal and Policy Factors in Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization and International Policies Relating to Web Accessibility help determine what requirements apply to your organization.

If your organization already has an accessibility policy that is updated to WCAG 2.0, the conformance level is probably included in it. If you don't have an accessibility policy, [changelog: make stronger you may be interested in] the Developing Organizational Policies on Web Accessibility document. For those who have a policy referencing WCAG 1.0, WAI plans to provide a document in the future with guidance on transitioning Web accessibility policies from WCAG 1.0 to WCAG 2.0.

Step 3. Analyze How the WCAG 2.0 Technical Requirements Apply to Your Site


Note: While the basic information in these documents is complete, some deatils are changing. Revised documents will be published in 2007.

[changelog: Remove "customize" and use something that highlights that the Quick Ref documents helps you "identify"] You can customize the WCAG 2.0 Quick Reference to list the Success Criteria that applies to your selected conformance level and the technologies that your site uses.

One way to approach analyzing the WCAG 2.0 requirements is to first review the WCAG 2.0 requirements that relate to WCAG 1.0, and then the new WCAG 2.0 requirements. As shown in the Comparison of WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints to WCAG 2.0, there is not a direct one-to-one mapping between WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints and WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria.

3.1. Check WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints that Relate to WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

[changelog: 3.1 - 3.2: Look at either breaking down the sections to re-worded headings and examples or, headings, sentence explanation and sidebar examples.]

[Key questions to ask your self are: @@]

3.2. Check New WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria that are not closely related to 1.0 Checkpoints are listed at the bottom of Comparison of WCAG 1.0 Checkpoints to WCAG 2.0. [Key questions to ask are:]

Step 4. Evaluate How Your Site Meets WCAG 2.0

[changelog: Consider if any of the information from 4 and 5 is relevant.]


Step 5. Plan and Implement Changes to Your Site


Step 6. Update Internal Guidance

[changelog: Consider if any of the information from 4 and 5 is relevant.]

Resource: Techniques for WCAG 2.0

Update your internal Web development templates, guidance, [styles guides], processes, and such, based on the changes you made when updating your site to WCAG 2.0. For example, [@@??].

Periodically check if there are new techniques and best practices that you want to incorporate into your internal guidance. While the WCAG 2.0 technical standard itself is a stable document that will not change once it is completed, the Techniques for WCAG 2.0 is a supporting resource that can be updated. As technology develops, it will be [updated|enhanced] with additional tips, techniques, and best practices.

When Techniques for WCAG 2.0 is updated, we will announce it on the WAI home page and the WAI Interest Group (IG) mailing list. To get WAI announcements, you can subscribe to the following: