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WCAG 2.0 Guidelines to Make Your Website Accessible to All
WCAG 2.0 Guidelines is a set of requirements that is the international system of coding standards.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is all about making the content on a website available for everyone, irrespective of disabilities and age. WCAG is also about improving UX on a website. So if you haven’t been taking all of this into consideration, it’s high time that you start doing so.
The latest version of WCAG i.e. WCAG 2.0 is built on the foundation of WCAG 1.0 and introduces various changes that need to be done to make the website accessible by everyone. These guidelines are based on four philosophies:
The 4 philosophies mentioned define each set of guidelines. But before we get to that, here’s why you need to take the implementation of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines seriously.
There are various legal obligations in many countries due to which, implementing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) becomes mandatory.
In January 2017, the U.S. Access Board approved a rule to update Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The new rule adopts 17 WCAG 2.0 success criteria. It asks for adherence to the new standards within one year of its date of publication in the federal register.
In October 2016, after the approval of the directive 2016/2102, websites and mobile apps to conform with WCAG 2.0. Given below are the dates from when the rule would be applicable to the websites and the mobile apps:
- New Websites: 23rd September, 2019
- Old Websites: 23rd September, 2020
- Mobile Apps: 23rd June, 2021
In January 2012, the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) had issued a press release that stated they had served legal proceedings against Bmibaby because they had failed to ensure web access for those customers who were blind or partially blind.
Two actions had been initiated by the RNIB and had gotten settled without being heard by the court, in October 2011.
The Canadian Federal Government made it mandatory that all websites comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
As per the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Australian Government has made it compulsory for all the government websites to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
In 2014, the Israeli Ministry of Justice made it mandatory for internet websites to comply with W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Other than the country specific WCAG compulsion, two of the commonest reasons why WCAG must be complied to, while creating a new website or making changes within your old website are:
- Ignoring these guidelines would be choosing to ignore the law. According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), the Rehabilitation Act and human rights codes, it is illegal to discriminate between the disabled people and others. Hence, they require to be provided with equal access to any kind of services.
- The American Community Survey (ACS) estimates the overall rate of people with disabilities in the US population in 2015 was 12.6%. And they possess the purchasing power of billions. So, it wouldn’t take a second to decide to jump over to a competitor’s website if your website isn’t made for them.
Around 65% of pages submitted to the online demo fail WCAG 2.0 checkpoints.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines need to be followed to make your website accessible to everyone, no matter what their age is or what disability they suffer from. Now is the best time to make your website in compliance with the WCAG because many countries have already made this WCAG legal and many countries are going to follow suit.
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To know more about the guidelines that need to be followed on the A(Beginner), AA(Intermediate) and AAA(Advanced) levels, download this free eBook which comprises of a checklist of the guidelines that need to be followed on each level.
GET THE WCAG 2.0 CHECKLIST
Let’s create a better web for all, where all websites will be available and easily accessible to everyone.