About Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) documents explain how to make Web pages and Web applications accessible to people with disabilities. WCAG is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world. A primary goal is to provide a single shared standard for Web accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.
WCAG 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 for Web accessibility. WAI develops additional material for people with different levels of accessibility knowledge.
WCAG 1.0 was approved in May 1999 and is the stable and referenceable version. WCAG 2.0 is being developed to:
- Apply broadly to different Web technologies now and in the future
- Be easier to use and understand
- Be more precisely testable with a combination of automated testing and human evaluation
In order to apply to more advanced technologies and be more testable, the WCAG 2.0 documents use a slightly different approach than WCAG 1.0. For example:
- WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint "Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits" is easy to understand, yet not precise enough to determine whether or not a Web page meets it.
- WCAG 2.0 Working Draft Success Criteria "Text (and images of text) have a contrast ratio of at least 5:1…" is more specific and clearly testable. The precise language makes it testable, with available tools listed at www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/#visual-audio-contrast-contrast-benefits-head
Developing WCAG 2.0
WCAG 2.0 is developed through the W3C process, which is designed to ensure broad community input and encourage consensus development. See How WAI Develops Accessibility Guidelines through the W3C Process: Milestones and Opportunities to Contribute at www.w3.org/WAI/intro/w3c-process
Current Status of WCAG 2.0
The WCAG 2 FAQ at www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/wcag2faq answers questions such as:
- What is the current status of WCAG 2.0?
- When will WCAG 2.0 be done?
- When should I start using WCAG 2.0?
Getting Started with WCAG 2.0 Documents
- Overview of WCAG 2.0 - provides an overview of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Working Draft documents, and highlights how WCAG 2.0 differs from WCAG 1.0.
Start here to learn about WCAG 2.0: www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag20
- WCAG 2 FAQ – addresses questions such as: What is the current status of WCAG 2.0? When should I start using WCAG 2.0? Provides perspective on the different documents. www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/wcag2faq
- WCAG 2.0 Quick
Reference/How to Meet WCAG 2.0 Working Draft (supporting document) – lists the basic WCAG 2.0 requirements and techniques sufficient to meet them. It includes the WCAG 2.0 guidelines and success criteria. The success criteria are the testable statements that define how Web content meets WCAG 2.0. Under each success criteria are a list of sufficient techniques; that is, if you implement those techniques you meet the success criteria. It also lists common failures, that is, things that don't meet the guidelines.
Start here when working with WCAG 2.0: www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref/
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
2.0 Working Draft -
draft W3C technical report that is planned to become a Web standard. www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
- Techniques for WCAG 2.0 Working Draft (supporting document) – gives you specific
details on how to develop accessible Web content, such as HTML code
- Understanding WCAG 2.0 Working Draft (supporting document) – has additional guidance on learning and implementing WCAG 2.0 for people who want to understand the guidelines more thoroughly. It tells you the intent or purpose of the guidelines and success criteria and how each of them benefits people with disabilities. www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/
WCAG is part of a series of accessibility guidelines and technical specifications, including Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG), User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG), and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA). See:
See www.w3.org/WAI/flyer/ for updates to this flyer since 31 March 2008.