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WAI: Strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

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The current document is available at www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag
$Date: 2012/10/02 15:24:57 $

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview

Page Contents

Introduction

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.

The WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Web "content" generally refers to the information in a web page or web application, including:

Who WCAG is for

WCAG is primarily intended for:

Related resources are intended to meet the needs of many different people, including policy makers, managers, researchers, and others.

WCAG is a technical standard, not an introduction to accessibility. For introductory material, see Where should I start? in the FAQ.

What is in WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 is a stable, referenceable technical standard. It has 12 guidelines that are organized under 4 principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria, which are at three levels: A, AA, and AAA.

For a short summary of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines, see WCAG 2.0 at a Glance.

The WCAG 2.0 supporting technical materials include:

For more details on how these document are related and how they are linked, see the Using WCAG 2 presentation or The WCAG 2.0 Documents.

Technical document format

The WCAG, Techniques, and Understanding documents follow the W3C format for technical reports, which has several sections at the beginning, including links to different versions, editors, abstract, and status.

Additional support material in progress

WAI is planning additional material to help web developers develop accessible web content that conforms to WCAG 2.0. In 2012 we plan to develop "Application Notes" (working title) to provide guidance for specific topics, such as images, links, or tables. For example, an Application Note on forms would start with simple examples and include the WCAG 2.0 success criteria, techniques, and strategies for developing accessible forms.

WCAG 2.0 is ISO/IEC 40500

WCAG 2.0 is expected to be approved as an ISO standard: ISO/IEC 40500. The content of ISO/IEC 40500 is freely available from www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20; it is available for purchase from the ISO catalogue.

For more information, see ISO in the FAQ.

WCAG with other guidelines

WCAG is part of a series of accessibility guidelines, including the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). Essential Components of Web Accessibility explains the relationship between the different guidelines.

Who develops WCAG

The WCAG technical documents are developed by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG), which is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

WAI updates Techniques for WCAG 2.0 and Understanding WCAG 2.0 periodically. We welcome comments and submission of new techniques.

Opportunities for contributing to WCAG and other WAI work are introduced in Participating in WAI.

More Information

See the WCAG 2 FAQ for more information on: (@@remember to update links)