WCAG 2.0

Following the announcement that the regulations for web accessibility proposed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2010 under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be further delayed, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has condemned the delay. While the rule making has been delayed, many companies and organizations are choosing to conform to the WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines for Web Accessibility in advance of the final rule making. 

W3C published updates to two supporting documents for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) today:

The WCAG 2.0 document is stable. The guidelines and success criteria are designed to be broadly applicable to both current and future technologies. This includes:

Dynamic Applications

Mobile

  • Digital Television
  • Other technologies

The supporting W3C Working Group Notes publish today provide specific guidance, which includes code examples, resources and tests. They are periodically updated to cover current practices for meeting the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

More resources:

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a delay in the anticipated regulations regarding web accessibility.  The new target date for Title II (state and local governments) is April, 2016.  The date for private sector web regulations is now to be determined and not likely until 2018.

Even without regulations, however, the Americans with Disabilities Act already requires that web and mobile content, features and functions be accessible. The Department of Justice continues to file complaints and get involved in court actions confirming that digital access is required, and that WCAG 2.0 AA is the standard.  Private sector settlements and lawsuits continue to protect the rights of people with disabilities to fully participate in the digital age. The regulations are delayed.  Site and app owners should not delay in making their digital properties accessible.

Read more on the Law Office of Lainey Feingold’s website

A draft redesign of How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements (success criteria) and techniques was published November 18, 2015. The draft was published by the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group (WCAG WG).

This quick reference is intended to replace the current How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference. Comments on the user interface and the filtering is due by 2 December, preferably via GitHub, or alternatively via e-mail to wai-eo-editors@w3.org.

A new charter for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group (WG) was approved by W3C after review from the W3C Member organizations. This will allow for the exploration to provide guidelines beyond WCAG 2.0 for the first time since WCAG 2.0 was finalized in 2008.

The continuing development and evolution of technologies drive the need for new guidance. The WCAG Working Group has started developing a framework for WCAG 2.0 extensions. These additional documents will be separate and increase the coverage on particular accessibility needs.  Organizations that have policies built around WCAG 2.0 alone would not be impacted, however, authors and policy-makers would have the option to meet the guidelines in one or more of the extensions.  

Read more on the Extensions to WCAG 2.0

The National Museum of Crime and Punishment entered into a settlement agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which was announced on Tuesday January 13th. The settlement requires that the Museum’s website is remediated to conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) Level AA, which is a set of web accessibility guidelines put forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C.) While the DOJ has not yet formally adopted the WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards, they are the standards named in many recent settlements.

According to the settlement the Museum must conform to the WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines within 120 days. This requires that the Museum complete the process of auditing, remediating and verification with in the short time frame.

Media Access Australia released a white paper, The accessibility of cloud computing – current and future trends, which outlines the need for commercial and government services to implement accessibility into their cloud based assets.

The author, Dr. Scott Hollier of Media Access, said that the research supported a need to implement accessibility into cloud services by looking at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) put forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C.)

The research in the paper supports organizations improving their accessibility and usability of cloud services as essential criteria to maximize customer engagement and opportunities and to stay current in a competitive market.  

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I’ve spent more than twenty years developing applications and websites.  That’s a lot of time spent sitting in a cubicle, head down, coding, and racing toward deadlines to make the business stakeholders happy.  It took me twenty years to realize I should have kept my head up and taken time to understand my customers better. 

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