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The Principles of WCAG 2.0

The Principles of WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 Overview

Primarily intended for web development professions, WCAG 2.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)  provides a technical standard that explains how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Each guideline features testable success criteria with three achievement levels.

WCAG 2.0 Requirements

Addresses 12 technical guidelines which are organized under 4 principles – Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (or P.O.U.R.).

1. Perceivable

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

  • Non-text content alternatives (Level A)
  • Time-based media alternatives (Level A – AAA)
  • Adaptable content (Level A)
  • Distinguishable content (Level A – AAA)

2. Operable

User interface components and navigation must be operable.

  • Keyboard accessibility (Level A, AAA)
  • Enough time to consume content (Level A, AAA)
  • Avoid seizure-provoking designs (Level A, AAA)
  • User navigation assistance (Level A – AAA)

3. Understandable

Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

  • Readable content (Level A – AAA)
  • Predictable appearance and operation (Level A – AAA)
  • Input assistance (Level A – AAA)

4. Robust

Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of users agents, including assistive technology.

  • Maximize compatibility with technology (Level A)

[Update: On June 5, 2018, WC3 announced that they have improved the accessibility guidelines for websites and applications, expanding provisions to include mobile, low vision, and cognitive and learning disabilities, with the release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Review the W3C press release to learn more.]

Source: World Wide Web Consortium, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview.

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