WCAG 2.0

On November 19 and 20 in Pune India the state Directorate of Information Technology (DIT), in association with Mahaonline Limited (MoL) will hold a workshop on eAccessibility. The DIT is inviting developer communities and software companies primarily working on government of Maharashtra websites that are high-traffic, high impact and citizen-centric. The goal is to teach them about web accessibility in an effort to make their websites and applications compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guide-lines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A.

Evaluating a product for accessibility can be challenging. How do you know a product is really accessible? What can you do to verify the information in a VPAT?

VPAT stands for Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. Organizations request VPATs for products to determine if it is accessible but how do you know if that information is correct and if the product is really accessible. In this session you will learn what a VPAT is and what you can do to evaluate a product to see if it meets the Section 508 standards and WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

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If you have an accessible website, more persons with disabilities will frequent it.  By word of mouth, its good reputation will start to permeate the community of users with disabilities.  They might spread the word that all active elements are keyboard accessible, all images have proper text equivalents, and content has sufficient color contrast.  Since there are about one billion users with disabilities worldwide, accessible sites have the potential of getting a lot more hits than inaccessible ones.

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When a video goes viral no one ever says, “This video was so serious and informative, I just had to share it.” No, they’re usually belly laughing when they click the share button. Unfortunately, the subject of digital accessibility doesn’t inspire laughter. And in the Section 508 guidelines, there isn’t a single punch line. The TV show Tosh.0 is funny, but WCAG 2.0? Not so much.

The HTML working group at the W3C has published and updated working draft of Using WAI-ARIA in HTML.

A practical guide for developers, the document shows how to add accessibility information into HTML elements using the Accessible Rich Internet Applications specification known as WAI-ARIA. WAI-ARIA is a way to make Web content and Web application more accessible to people with disabilities. This new draft shows how to use WAI-ARIA with HTML5. It helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls that were developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript and related technologies.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), who is responsible for web standards such as the WCAG 2.0 standard, has announced the launch of their premium W3C Validator Suite. The goal of the W3C Validator Suite is to help people improve the quality of Web pages. It is now easier and faster to perform checks on HTML, CSS and internationalization (I18n) for an entire public site.

The Validator Suite integrates Web standards conformance tools that offer a quick and easy way to keep websites compliant with Web standards.  The suite scans the public pages of a site and evaluates conformance with W3C open standards. It is delivered as an online service through the SaaS model and provides:

  • Website Crawling
  • HTML5 & CSS Validation
  • Internationalization checking
  • Real-time integrated reports

Infographics on the web have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years for many great reasons. Often, they are able to quickly convey complex bits of information and show key relationships between data sets. For sighted users, representing data as an infographic actually improves accessibility. It’s easier to understand because infographics:

The 16th Annual Accessing Higher Ground Conference on accessible media, web and technology in Westminster, CO ends today September 6th at midnight, Mountain Time. Prices will go up about 10%-12% depending on the package, starting tomorrow.

The AHG Conference focuses on the implementation and benefits of Accessible Media, Universal Design, and Assistive Technology in the university, business and public setting. Additional topics include ADA and 508 compliance. The creation of accessible media and information resources will include Web pages and library resources are particular focuses of this event. You may register for the AHG here.

W3C WAI updated two supporting documents for Web Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0: Techniques for WCAG 2.0 and Understanding WCAG 2.0. WCAG 2.0 itself is a stable document and, therefore, does not change.

The WCAG guidelines and success criteria are designed to be broadly applicable to current and future web technologies, including dynamic applications, mobile, digital television, etc. For an introduction to the WCAG documents, see the WCAG Overview. The W3C Working Group Notes that were just released provide specific guidance. They include code examples, resources, and tests, which are periodically updated to cover current practices for meeting the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria.

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has published the completed Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communication Technologies (WCAG2ICT) as an informative W3C Working Group Note. The new guide addresses the interpretation and application of the WCAG 2.0 standards to non-web documents and software. WCAG2ICT was made possible through the collaborative effort to support harmonized accessibility solutions across a wide range of technologies.

WCAG2ICT is directed towards ICT managers, ICT developers, policy makers, and other wanting to understand how WCAG 2.0 can be applied to non-web document and software. WCAG2ICT specifically provides:

  • Overall context for applying WCAG 2.0 to non-web documents and software.
  • Guidance on applying the WCAG principles, guidelines, and Levels A and AA success criteria to non-web documents and software.
  • Key Terms related to applying WCAG 2.0 to non-web documents and software.
  • Comments on the definitions in the WCAG 2.0 Glossary.
  • Comments on conformance.
  • Background information on some topics.

WCAG2ICT also includes material from the WCAG 2.0 standard to provide context, along with specific guidance related to non-web ICT, formatted as follows:

  • WCAG 2.0 principles, guidelines, and success criteria — the exact text from the WCAG 2.0 standard. These are visually styled in pale yellow boxes and usually prefaced with "Principle...", "From Guideline...", or "From Success Criterion…"
  • Excerpted text from the "Intent" sections of Understanding WCAG 2.0, an informative supporting document. These are visually styled in pale yellow boxes and prefaced with "Intent from Understanding Success Criterion..."
  • Guidance on applying each success criteria to non-web documents and software. These are visually styled in pale blue boxes with a heading on a dark blue background that starts with "Additional Guidance..."

More details on the WCAG2ICT can be found in the WCAG2ICT overview on the W3C website.

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