WEB CONTENT ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES
The international standards for web accessibility are set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The most recent set of these standards is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. WCAG 2.0 stems from a set of four principles to which web content must conform. According to WCAG 2.0, web content must be:
The CDC defines a disability as “any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).” WCAG 2.0 is especially meant to ensure that users with differing visual, auditory, and motor abilities can access the web and still enjoy a good user experience.
Referring to “users with disabilities” creates a very broad category. These disabilities might be related to any of the following, among others:
- VISION: Blindness or other visual impairments.
- HEARING: Deafness or difficulty hearing.
- COGNITION: Difficulty with concentration, memory, or decision-making.
- MOBILITY: Related to paralysis, neuromuscular disorders, arthritis, and other conditions that impair movement.
WCAG 2.0 is a (rather complex) set of standards that attempts to address how to create websites for users of any ability level. There are three WCAG 2.0 levels—A, AA, and AAA—and they rise in requirements for web accessibility standards. Level A requires the least and has the least impact on web design, while Level AAA has the most and provides the most accessible site.