WCAG Facts Every Business With an Online Presence Should Know

WCAG Facts Every Business With an Online Presence Should Know

When it comes to creating digital content that is accessible to all users, businesses, organizations, and institutions need to adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Established by the W3C, WCAG is the website accessibility benchmark.

WCAG specifies how to make your website, app, or other digital resources accessible to people with disabilities. By adhering to this criterion, you may ensure that your site and other digital sources are open to the widest possible audience.

Key Facts About WCAG

At first glance, the technical details and jargon used in WCAG can be overwhelming. We've simplified the basics below.

1. WCAG 2.1 is the latest version of the guidelines.

As the most recent version, W3C recommends WCAG 2.1 for businesses to help individuals with disabilities while eliminating legal liabilities. The 2.1 version is the same as 2.0, but it also has 17 more success criteria. Most of these are for mobile accessibility, low vision, and cognitive impairments.

2. Several accessibility regulations in various parts of the world still refer to 2.0 compliance.

Legal amendments take time. Since the changes are made every few years, it typically takes some time for the new rules to be applied. Fortunately, 2.1 is the extended version of 2.0, which means they have tons of similarities. 

3. The WCAG success criteria are divided into four categories.

digital accessibility

The four parts of these criteria for success are:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

POUR classifies the guidelines, and each success criterion is allocated to a distinct category.

4. Versions 2.0 and 2.1 grant a level of conformity to success criteria.

The conformity level of a success criterion is dictated by how to resolve a critical problem. These are Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA.

Level A is the basic level of accessibility. Without this level, individuals with disabilities would be unable to use the website in any way. 

Level AA has additional success criteria to gain even more access. Completing Level AA will eliminate barriers that prevent people with disabilities from using a website. 

Level AAA implies optimal accessibility. While achieving the triple-A criteria does not guarantee 100% accessibility, it is the level that offers the highest level of assistance.

5. Generally, businesses are required or advised by law to meet Level AA.

This is contingent on the country's policy. However, WCAG conformance laws often stipulate Level A or Level AA. 

6. Partial policy compliance is not a legal safety net.

Partial compliance is better than non-compliance, but only full compliance protects your business from lawsuits. It's also the only way to ensure all web users get access to digital resources.

7. Updates are in the works.

WCAG 2.2 is almost ready for release. It is modeled after version 2.1. WCAG 3.0 is already in the pipeline and includes new organizational compliance levels (bronze, silver, and gold).

Get Professional Help

Understanding WCAG and adopting its standards as early as possible can ensure that your website is fully accessible to all. Contact ADA Web Accessibility to help make your website ADA compliant.