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[DRAFT updates] WCAG 2 FAQ

This document is an unapproved draft and should not be referenced or quoted under any circumstances.The published, referenceable page is at www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/wcag2faq.
Please send comments to wai-eo-editors@w3.org (a publicly archived list).

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of proving a single shared standard for Web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. WCAG 2.0 was developed to apply to more advanced Web technologies, and be more precisely testable with a combination of automated testing and human evaluation. WAI develops additional material for people with different levels of accessibility knowledge. See the WCAG Overview.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQ) about WCAG 2.0. Let us know what other questions you have. ~Shawn Henry, W3C WAI, updated 17 December 2008

possible additional questions:

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Is WCAG 2.0 done?

Yes, WCAG 2.0 was published as a final W3C Recommendation Web Standard on 11 December 2008. WCAG 2.0 itself is a stable, referenceable standard that will not change.

The supporting resources Understanding WCAG 2.0 and Techniques for WCAG 2.0 were published as W3C Working Group Notes on 11 December 2008. These will be updated periodically to reflect updates in technologies and techniques.

Where should I start?

The WCAG Overview is the place to start learning about WCAG 2.0. The Overview provides an important foundation for understanding the different WCAG 2.0 documents, and points to several resources for using WCAG 2.0.

How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference is the primary resource for developers using WCAG 2.0.

What are the different WCAG 2.0 documents?

The WCAG 2.0 Documents shows how the different WCAG 2.0 technical documents are related and linked. The navigation area of this page lists WCAG 2.0 educational and outreach materials.

Here's a little more perspective on the different technical documents. When Web content and Web software developers were using WCAG 1.0, they had many questions on how to implement it, how to evaluate for it, and the reasons behind its requirements. WAI wanted to provide this information with WCAG 2.0, and since those details don't fit well in a technical standard, they are in the supporting documents.

Thus with WCAG 2.0, there are extensive supporting materials, which are advisory documents. The WCAG 2.0 guidelines document itself is the only document that is a Web standard, and it is fairly short.

WCAG 2.0 itself is a technical standard designed primarily for Web developers and designers, authoring tool and evaluation tool developers, and others who need a technical standard. WAI plans to provide additional material to help Web developers who are not accessibility experts to develop accessible Web content.

How is WCAG 2.0 different from WCAG 1.0?

Generally, WCAG 2.0 applies broadly to more advanced technologies; is easier to use and understand; and is more precisely testable with automated testing and human evaluation. The fundamental issues of Web accessibility are the same, though there are some differences in the approach and requirements between WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0.

See How WCAG 2.0 Differs from WCAG 1.0 for details such as the changes in requirements.

How is it going to impact my Web development?

Most Web sites that conform to WCAG 1.0 should not require significant changes in order to conform to WCAG 2.0, and some will not need any changes at all. It will take a little time to learn the new approach of how the WCAG 2.0 documents provide guidance.

See How to Update Your Web Site from WCAG 1.0 to WCAG 2.0.

Can I meet WCAG 2.0 with Javascript/Ajax, Flash, PDF, and other technologies?

WCAG 2.0 is designed to apply to a broad range of technologies. Techniques for WCAG 2.0 has techniques for meeting WCAG 2.0 with some different technologies. We expect other organizations to provide techniques for meeting WCAG 2.0 in their technologies.

Is WCAG 2.0 available in other languages?

Yes, WCAG 2.0 will be available in several languages in the coming months. They will be listed in the W3C translations database page. Some of these will be W3C Authorized Translations.

Other WAI documents are already translated. See Translating WAI Documents for more information on how you can contribute to WAI translations.

Where can I find answers to more of my questions?

First, look through the documents on the W3C WAI Web site, which are listed in the annotated list of WAI Resources. WCAG documents are listed in the navigation area of this page.

WAI hosts an Interest Group (WAI IG) mailing list where the community discusses Web accessibility issues. WAI IG provides ideas from different perspectives. If you have a question that might be relevant to the WAI IG list, you can:

WAI staff are actively developing guidelines, technical reports, and supporting material, and generally are not available to answer individual questions. However, you can send questions to wai@w3.org and we will integrate answers into this page and other documents as we are able.