1.8: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
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The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 are published on the World Wide Web consortium’s website. There are four principles to the guidelines. You can use the acronym POUR to remember it.
Perceivable: The first is that the content must be Perceivable to the end user. It can’t be invisible to all of their senses.
Operable: The second is that the user interface and navigation must be Operable. The interface can’t require interaction that a user can’t perform.
Understandable: The third is that the interface and information must be Understandable.
Robust: The fourth is that the content must be Robust in that it can be interpreted by assistive technology existing today as well as that coming in the future.
WCAG 2.0 includes three levels of conformance represented by “A,” “AA,” and “AAA” with “AAA” being the best accessibility. It’s made up of 12 guidelines. Each guideline has checkpoints you can use to evaluate the accessibility of your online content.
The WCAG 2.0 Guidelines are listed below with links to their details.
- 1.1 Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
- 1.2 Provide alternatives for time-based media.
- 1.3 Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
- 1.4 Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
- 2 Operable
- 3 Understandable
- 4 Robust
You’ll notice similarities between the WCAG 2.0 guidelines and the 2000 Section 508 standards. Guideline 1.1 says, “Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language” is similar to the previous Section 508 standard (a) A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided (e.g., via “
longdesc”, or in element content).