What’s WCAG?

Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 people in the UK have to cope with a disability?

Since the Equality Act 2010, all services have had to be accessible for anyone who needs them, and this includes the internet.

The online world shouldn’t marginalise people with disabilities, creating an even greater sense of isolation or alienation than may already exist in the physical world.

So, WCAG, or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, have been created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to give the best means of making websites useful to all users.

On 23rd September 2018, all public sector websites will have to meet the WCAG 2.0 AA standard; and they will become legally accountable for this accessibility.

It is highly likely that this focus on accessibility will follow on to private sector as it will raise awareness of the important issue of ensuring that the internet is accessible for everyone.

There are four key points; that the web content should be:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

We also need to consider that people may suffer from disabilities, either permanent or temporary, that affect their abilities in one or more of the following ways:

  • Auditory
  • Cognitive
  • Neurological
  • Physical
  • Speech
  • Visual

Therefore, in designing and creating content for the internet, that meets the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, public and, potentially, private sector organisations have lots of elements to consider.

There are specialist consultants who can be employed to audit all content and communications, including testing the content on accessibility software. And there are some resources online that are helpful, but they are extremely detailed and all the information is difficult to absorb at once.

So, here at TW, we have produced a handy visual reference on some key ways that you and your company can improve the accessibility of your website for all.

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by Natasha Gray