Understanding WCAG Compliance

Understanding WCAG compliance is an essential part of building accessible websites. While many guidelines and standards exist, WCAG is not static and must be updated with new technologies. The guidelines are based on four principles: clickable UI elements, accessible content, navigation, and readability. By understanding these principles, you can create accessible websites that are both functional and appealing.

WCAG 2.0

A key aspect of WCAG 2.0 compliance is understanding the requirements and claims of conformance. The document defines what constitutes conformance and describes the technologies considered accessible and can be relied on to make a website compliant. The paper also provides information on the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and the automated and manual means of evaluating the conformance of a website to WCAG 2.0. An excellent way to start is to consult with accessibility professionals like accessibe.

WCAG 2.0 compliance involves making your content and markup accessible to all users. Content is everything a user interacts with on a website, and markup is the code that tells the browser how to display that content. Because accessibility involves a wide range of impairments, your website’s content and markup must conform to the guidelines set forth by the W3C.

Common Failures

While WAI-ARIA and semantic HTML5 are valuable tools for accessibility, using them in your markup can create barriers to accessibility. In addition, most developers don’t use assistive technologies regularly. To avoid this, it is essential to work with an accessibility partner and test your markup regularly.

One common problem is using the wrong background color for your CSS images. This can lead to failures of success criteria and may impact accessibe reviews. Another common oversight is using tables without a background color. Unless these are specified, screen readers won’t be able to identify data cells on a page.

Success criteria

In a WCAG 2.0 specification, success criteria are testable and describe the features a system must have to comply with the guidelines. These criteria can be used in design specifications, purchasing, regulations, and contract agreements. There are three conformance levels, and the WCAG 2.0 specification defines the levels. Check out the Understanding Levels of Conformance document to understand what these levels mean.

WCAG 2.1 includes 17 new success criteria, most of which are related to mobile, touch, and small screens. These new criteria make digital content more accessible for people with various disabilities. In addition to the success criteria, WCAG 2.1 also adds a new guideline on input modalities. Finally, the latest version also introduces support for an accessibility management platform, which is intended to help designers incorporate these requirements into their designs.

Alternate versions of Web pages are required to meet WCAG 2.1.

The Alternate Versions provision allows for specialized web pages to be created to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. The requirement enables these specialized pages to be included in conformance claims. The alternate version of a Web page often comprises several separate pages, each of which must meet the required success criteria.

The WCAG 2.1 standard incorporates the same conformance model as WCAG 2.0 but with a few additions. WCAG 2.1 sites are still required to meet the requirements of WCAG 2.0, but they have additional requirements for accessibility.

Training in WCAG Compliance

Training in WCAG compliance is necessary for organizations to comply with Web accessibility guidelines. It provides employees in all departments with the knowledge and tools to approach accessibility head-on. This allows organizations to stay compliant and quickly remediate issues while avoiding costly litigation and poor user experiences. In addition to providing a fundamental understanding of web accessibility, this training also helps to avoid the pitfalls that can result in a poor user experience.

To become fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), you should first take a general introductory course on accessibility. The course will also cover semantic markup, creating accessible forms, and providing robust labeling. Additionally, it should cover the design of complex tables and navigation systems.


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