Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0, and its extension, 2.1) are a set of technical standards covering a broad range of recommendations for making web content more accessible to all people. To develop these technical requirements, individuals and organizations around the world worked together in an open, collaborative process. The overarching goal of the WCAG is to provide a single, shared standard for website accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.
There are 3 levels of WCAG compliance: A, AA, and AAA.
The WCAG standards and guidelines fall under 4 principles of accessibility: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. These principles and guidelines aim to make web content “accessible to as many people as possible, and capable of being represented in different forms to match different peoples’ sensory, physical, and cognitive abilities.” For each guideline, there are testable success criteria.
Organized under these principles, WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 ask website owners to follow these guidelines to make their 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.
Let’s look more closely at the 4 principles.