A Last Call Working Draft of WCAG 2.0 was just published. This means that the WCAG Working Group has integrated all resolutions from previous comments. Yeah! Now the question is whether this draft of WCAG 2.0 is ready for the community to support moving it on towards becoming a Web standard (W3C Recommendation)?
I’ve watched WCAG 2.0’s development over the last 7 years (first from outside W3C and then from inside W3C). Hundreds of people have contributed, critiqued, and debated WCAG 2.0 from a broad range of perspectives — individual web developers, large organizations, people with disabilities, and many more. The dedication and struggles of the WCAG Working Group and the thoughtful input from the community has resulted in a strong second Last Call Working Draft that has reached a mature state (and I think everyone will agree is vastly improved from the first Last Call in April 2006!).
It’s inherent in the complex issues of web accessibility that guidelines will not be perfect and not everyone will be fully satisfied. So when do you say WCAG 2.0 is good enough? The WCAG Working Group has provided their proposal with this Last Call Working Draft.
I think we’ve come to the point now where the question should be: Is it better for web accessibility overall for the community to continue to debate, or is it better to polish and accept WCAG 2.0? …I say, onward. And I hope that the community can also soon say go forward with WCAG 2.0 (and continue to refine the companion material linked below).
WCAG 1.0 has provided a vital international standard. Yet WCAG 2.0 is urgently needed to address current and future technologies and situations.
One of the beauties of the WCAG 2.0 documents is its ability to provide both a stable standard and specific guidance for techniques, technologies, and tools as they advance. WCAG 2.0 itself provides the stable standard, a foundation that doesn’t change; Techniques for WCAG 2.0 and Understanding WCAG 2.0 can be updated periodically, for example, to expand the techniques and advice covering accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities.
To those interested in the development of WCAG 2.0, I ask if you would carefully consider your approach to reviewing and commenting on these latest Working Drafts, and think about how your feedback can best advance web accessibility overall. Consider supporting efforts to complete WCAG 2.0.
Now I’m off to review how the WCAG Working Group responded to my previous comments, prepared to accept good enough in the interest of moving forward…