Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.
WCAG 2.0 success criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Guidance about satisfying the success criteria in specific technologies, as well as general information about interpreting the success criteria, is provided in separate documents.
WCAG 2.0 Layers of Guidance
The individuals and organizations that use WCAG vary widely and include Web designers and developers, policy makers, purchasing agents, teachers, and students. In order to meet the varying needs of this audience, several layers of guidance are provided including overall principles, general guidelines, testable success criteria and a rich collection of sufficient techniques, advisory techniques, and documented common failures with examples, resource links and code.
Principles - At the top are four principles that provide the foundation for Web accessibility: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
Guidelines - Under the principles are guidelines. The 12 guidelines provide the basic goals that authors should work toward in order to make content more accessible to users with different disabilities. The guidelines are not testable, but provide the framework and overall objectives to help authors understand the success criteria and better implement the techniques.
Success Criteria - For each guideline, testable success criteria are provided to allow WCAG 2.0 to be used where requirements and conformance testing are necessary such as in design specification, purchasing, regulation, and contractual agreements. In order to meet the needs of different groups and different situations, three levels of conformance are defined: A (lowest), AA, and AAA (highest).
Sufficient and Advisory Techniques - For each of the guidelines and success criteria in the WCAG 2.0 document itself, the working group has also documented a wide variety of techniques. The techniques are informative and fall into two categories: those that are sufficient for meeting the success criteria and those that are advisory. The advisory techniques go beyond what is required by the individual success criteria and allow authors to better address the guidelines. Some advisory techniques address accessibility barriers that are not covered by the testable success criteria. Where common failures are known, these are also documented.
Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content
Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media: Provide alternatives for time-based media
Guideline 1.3 Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways (e.g., simpler layout) without losing information or structure
Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background
Blocks of text over one sentence in length:
Operable Interface forms, controls, and navigation are operable
Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard
Guideline 2.2 Enough Time: Provide users enough time to read and use content
Guideline 2.3 Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures
Guideline 2.4 Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are
Understandable Content and interface are understandable
Guideline 3.1 Readable: Make text content readable and understandable
Guideline 3.2 Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways
Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes
Robust Content can be used reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies
Guideline 4.1 Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies
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