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Quick Guide – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Quick Guide - Web Accessibility

Websites are routinely used for communication, empowering most with 24/7 access to information while establishing barriers for people with disabilities. Recognizing the growing IT field, the emergence of web content accessibility guidelines provides a shared standard for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Definitions for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

This definition guide is designed to provide a quick overview of the terms, phrases, and acronyms commonly referenced throughout the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act
  • DOJ (Department of Justice): Regulates and enforces ADA compliance for Title II & III.
  • Section 508: An amendment to the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1073. Current law regulating the federal government.
  • 508 Standards: All electronic and information technology components must be accessible to all.
  • 508 Standards-Compliant to Level A: Addresses 4 checkpoints, not in 508, to achieve Level A compliance.
  • Level A-Compliant to 508 Standards-Compliant: Address 5 standards, not detailed in WCAG, to achieve Section 508 Compliance.
  • WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative): Initiative developed by W3C to help make the Web more accessible to people with disabilities.
  • W3C (World Wide Web Consortium): Develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.
  • WCAG: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • WCAG 2.0: Current guidelines for technical standards. [Update: WCAG 2.1 is now a W3C recommendation. View WCAG 2.1 Press Release.]
  • Level A: Minimum conformance, basic accessibility, must satisfy priority 1.
  • Level AA: Moderate conformance, accessible by most groups, should satisfy priority 2.
  • Level AAA: Highest conformance, easier accessibility for some groups, may satisfy priority 3.

Sources: World Wide Web Consortium, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview; U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division “Information and Technical Assistance on Americans with Disabilities Act.”

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