What is WCAG?
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WCAG 2.0 has been in place since 2008. The guidelines have been put together for improving website accessibility for those with disabilities and in turn making your website useful to all your users. They are internationally recognised.
The main factors to consider are that a website is:
A website being perceivable is all about the senses people use when browsing your website. Sight, sound and touch are the main ones to consider as users that have trouble with one or more of these may rely on Assistive technology to browse your website. You need to make sure that your website can give them the same easy access and browsing capabilities as those that do not have difficulties with these senses.
Making your website operable means thinking about the actions that people use while browsing and covers the different ways that people navigate the web. For example: those with motor skills difficulties or sight problems may only use a keyboard to navigate your website, rather than a mouse. You need to ensure that your website has good keyboard navigation only skills and avoid setting time limits for users so that your website can be easily navigated by all who visit.
Making your website understandable is actually far more important than the first two principles. A website can be perceivable and operable, but all that is no good if is not easy to understand. You must use clear terms, simple instructions and make sure that you explain any complex terms. You should avoid any and all unusual, unexpected and inconsistent functions so that your website functions in a way that all your users can understand.
If your website is robust, this means that it is one that third-party technology can rely on. It should meet recognised standards, using clean HTML which reduces the risk of your users relying on technology that cannot process your website.
Are there different levels of compliance and accessibility?
There are 3 levels of WCAG 2.0:
Level A – Your website uses the most basic web accessibility features
Level AA – Your website uses features that help with the most common barriers for disabled users
Level AAA – Your website has the highest level of web accessibility for all users.
As a rule of thumb, you should aim for level AA with a dash of level AAA as a good target. You cannot aim straight for level AAA as some features and guidelines can simply not be applied to all websites. However, you should always comply with all the guidelines you can regardless of whether you want your website to be level AAA compliant or not.
Being WCAG 2.0 compliant ensures that your website is easily accessible to everyone, regardless of disabilities and age and ultimately, being accessible to all, visitor traffic would increase…
As a bonus, recent studies have concluded that website rankings have been shown to improve on websites that have complied with the WCAG guildines.
Intertec can test and re-work your website if required. Call us on 01276 691199 for a no obligation chat!