New and Improved WCAG 2.0 Techniques

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Today W3C WAI published updated Techniques for WCAG 2.0 and Understanding WCAG 2.0, following a public review and comment period. The WCAG Working Group is developing more techniques and would like your help.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 is a W3C standard that is designed to be stable and relevant even as technology changes. One of the benefits of WCAG 2.0 over WCAG 1.0 and other accessibility standards is that 2.0 applies to more advanced technologies, including current, future, and non-W3C technologies. WCAG 2.0 is broadly applicable and technology independent.

Detailed guidance, including technology-specific guidance, on meeting WCAG 2.0 is provided in the following supporting documents:

  • Techniques for WCAG 2.0 - guidance for developers with general and technology-specific examples, including for HTML/XHTML, CSS, scripting, multimedia, Flash, and WAI-ARIA.
  • Understanding WCAG 2.0 - includes the intent of the guideline or success criterion; how it helps people with different disabilities, browser and assistive technology support notes, examples, and resources.

These supporting documents are designed to be expanded and updated periodically to cover current practices and technologies. The first publication of these supporting documents covered the sufficient techniques and other basics, although they did not document all known techniques (some were marked as "future link") nor cover all technologies. Today's publication demonstrates WAI's commitment to update the WCAG 2.0 supporting documents.

The updated documents include more coverage of non-W3C technologies, which will help developers who are using those technologies make their work more accessible and meet WCAG 2.0. However, publication of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all cases to create accessible content that meets WCAG 2.0. (For example, the Flash Techniques for WCAG 2.0 say: "Flash accessibility support for assistive technology relies on use in Windows operating systems, using Internet Explorer 6 or later (with Flash Player 6 or later) or Mozilla Firefox 3 or later (with Flash Player 9 or later).") Developers need to be aware of the limitations of specific technologies and ensure that they create content in a way that is accessible to all their potential users.

We look forward to providing more techniques for meeting WCAG 2.0. Can you help?

And finally, a big thanks to the WCAG Working Group and all who have contributed to providing updated techniques for and understanding of WCAG 2.0.

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