Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview

Web accessibility starts with conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The WCAG are technical standards published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to make the web more accessible.

After discussing what web content accessibility is and how it can benefit us all, we will look at the W3C and the WAI before moving on to our overview of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

What is Web Content Accessibility?

In simple terms, web accessibility means that websites and mobile apps should be developed and designed so that everybody can perceive, understand, navigate, contribute, and interact with the World Wide Web. Web accessibility can affect people with many disabilities, including but not limited to cognitive, hearing, speech, visual and physical impairments. In addition to disabled people, web accessibility could benefit others, for instance, the elderly or those with temporary disabilities such as a broken wrist or recovering from eye surgery. The environment can be another accessibility issue, perhaps if you were in a busy and noisy café and needed captions because you couldn’t hear a video presentation.

Why is Accessibility Important to Your Website?

There are altruistic reasons for ensuring a website is accessible, and some less so. However, they can all benefit you, be it doing the right thing or making more money for your business by growing your customer base. If you are a new business or startup, you should be considering the accessibility of your website from the beginning as it will save you time and cash; having to retrofit your site down the line can be a major headache.

Everybody knows that there should be no reason for discrimination, be it racial, gender-based, or otherwise. While it might not be as obvious or even intentional, web pages that aren’t accessible to people with disabilities could be construed as a form of discrimination. It is estimated globally that around 1 billion people have a disability of some kind; it is a moral imperative to ensure that they have the same web accessibility opportunities as everyone else.

So putting our obligations aside, here are some other reasons for making our web content more accessible:

  • Meet legal requirements
  • Grow your business
  • Smart PR
  • Best practice for SEO

 

Meet Legal Requirements – For most private enterprises, there is no requirement by law to comply with WCAG standards; however, their websites should be accessible. By complying with WCAG, you will lessen the risk of legal action against you, and even if you are not currently required to meet accessibility requirements, the likelihood is in the future, you will. Rather than having to carry out a major overhaul of your website at a later date, the sooner it is implemented, the better.

People with disabilities regularly sue companies because of inaccessible websites, and it becomes more widespread each year. In 2019 there were 2,235 ADA web, and app accessibility cased files, most of them targeting the retail sector.

Business Growth – If you have a website that isn’t accessible, you could be losing out on a huge market; it is estimated that just in the US yearly, the yearly disposable income for disabled people is $544 billion. Even a few changes in line with web content guidelines could result in business growth. Another massive market is older users, and it is a demographic that is growing larger every year. Old age tends to bring on a number of issues, including hearing, motor skills, and impaired vision; removing barriers that could stop them from using your website would be a smart move. If accessibility is an issue on your website, you can pretty much guarantee they will be going to your competitor’s site next and won’t be returning to yours any time soon.

Smart PR – By having a WCAG 2.1 compliant website, you will create a win-win situation; it gives the public a great impression that your enterprise is a caring one. As we have mentioned already, you’ll likely gain more growth and won’t lose customers. You can add an accessibility statement to your site, explain how it meets with WCAG. With word of mouth being one of the best marketing methods available, disabled visitors will be more likely to recommend your enterprise to family and friends or share it on social media or other platforms if they have a great user experience.

SEO Best Practices -SEO or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website so that it appears at the top of the first page of the search engine, namely for relevant search terms. There are several factors to improve your SEO, but the user experience is an important one; if your site has alt-tags for all your images, fast load speeds, and great navigation, it will benefit Google and all your users.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Before we discuss the W3C, let’s begin with this quote from Tim Berners-Lee, “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect”.  A powerful message indeed given even more gravitas by the fact that Berners-Lee was one of the founders of W3C and the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Established in 1994, they describe themselves as “an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards.” The W3C isn’t a governing body, and anyone can join. The W3C collaborates with Individuals and organizations around the world with a goal to ensure the long-term growth of the WWW.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) was launched in 1997 by the W3C to develop accessibility standards, guidelines, implementation resources, and solutions so that the internet is accessible to all people with disabilities. The most well-known set of guidelines it has developed are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Website Content Accessibility Guidelines Versions

Since their beginnings, back in the early days of the internet in 1999, the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines have continued to evolve, making web content more accessible for everyone.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 1.0

The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) first version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines was launched On May 5th, 1999. This was a significant step in the right direction for web accessibility. This first version was mainly focused on HTML; it consisted of 14 guidelines, which were divided into three levels of priority. With new advancements and the internet’s continued growth, version 1.0 soon became outdated to be superseded by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Version 2.0 Onwards

There are three primary WCAG versions to consider as we near 2021:

  • 2.0
  • 2.1
  • 2.2

 

Think of WCAG 2.0 as the classic version. It is incorporated into many laws and provides for a robust baseline of accessibility.

WCAG 2.1 is the updated, current version. It is incorporated into laws internationally and helps shore up mobile accessibility.

WCAG 2.2 is an upcoming version with a release expected in the summer of 2021. Originally, November 2020 was the target publication date, but the proposed draft still needed to be worked through.

Conformance Levels

WCAG versions can have three levels of conformance: A, AA, AAA.

Level A is the most basic accessibility level; failure to conform to this minimum would mean that the website is completely inaccessible.

Level AA is the standard adopted by all laws, generally and which most organizations will work towards.

Conformance with Level AAA can be impossible in some instances, but it’s always great to strive to meet some AAA success criteria.

Success Criteria

Success criteria can be thought of as requirements (i.e., things to do) to meet different levels of WCAG versions. Here is the number count for each version:

  • 2.0 AA – 38 success criteria
  • 2.1 AA – 50 success criteria
  • 2.2 AA – 58 success criteria (proposed)

It’s important to remember that each successive update works on top of the previous update, which means nothing in the previous version has been undone.

To illustrate, WCAG 2.1 AA has 50  testable criteria, including the 38 from 2.0 AA and 12 new success criteria. Thus, if you’re WCAG 2.0 AA conformant, there are only 12 additional items to implement.

Laws and Regulations

Below are a few of the laws across the globe that incorporate WCAG. All incorporate level

  • AODA (2.0)
  • Section 508 (2.0)
  • EN 301 549 (2.0)
  • Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (2.0)

 

EN 301 549 affects and has been adopted by multiple countries.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Essentials

The W3C website has all the information you’ll ever need on WCAG; however, if you are looking for a concise guide that will give you a basic understanding of the guidelines, the following will provide you with a comprehensive ‘big picture’ overview.

POUR – The Four Principles of Accessibility

POUR is a handy acronym for perceivable, operable, understandable, robust. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are organized around these four foundational principles.

Each of the four principles contains several guidelines, 13 in all, that in turn include 78 success criteria. To achieve content accessibility that meets level AA, you would need to comply with 50 of the 78 success criteria.

Lastly, the guide provides hundreds of techniques to fulfill them, which come under two categories sufficient and advisory. It is beyond this already comprehensive article’s scope to give in-depth guidance to the dozens of success criteria and techniques.

Still, we will attempt to summarise each principle and their guidelines that might help give you a better understanding, especially if you are new to web content accessibility.

Perceivable

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

The first of the four accessibility principles states that web content and interface elements must be perceivable. If something is perceivable, it can be communicated through the senses, i.e., sight, hearing, touch, taste, or smell. In the context of web content, this is typically through the first three senses. At its root, ensuring that your digital content is perceivable means that it should be accessible to all users by at least one of the senses.

For instance, if your content is only available in audio format, you will be excluding people with hearing impairments. Likewise, if you only have content provided in a visual format, it will be inaccessible to blind or visually impaired users. Therefore, alternative means of accessing your content need to be addressed not only for disabled users but for people to whom it might be inaccessible because of environmental circumstances.

Visual perception

If we have good sight or even if our vision isn’t so great and we have to wear glasses to correct it, we can read the text and view images to understand the information provided to us. Sight is a powerful sense. That is why website owners often regularly update their sites, test page layouts, different colors, and other visual elements to better communicate their message.

For people who are blind or have limited vision, this visual means of communication is obviously inaccessible. Hence, provisions need to be put in place to ensure that they can perceive the content. This could mean converting the visual content into audio format and ensuring that image text descriptions are available as Alt attributes.

Audible perception

Many of us take it for granted how we interact on the web with audio communication. We can watch and listen to YouTube videos, stream music on Spotify, and listen to our favorite podcasts. We can even communicate with family, friends, or business acquaintances using voice chat. For the deaf or hard of hearing, visual perception comes to the fore, as well as other technologies to make it easier for them to communicate. One such example would be closed captions for videos.

Touch

For most of us, touch is probably the least used of our senses when it comes to web content. But for some, it is a lifeline; a deaf and blind person can read using their fingers if the text can be converted to braille utilizing a device such as a refreshable Braille display.

Guidelines 1.1 to 1.4

The first of the web content accessibility guidelines ‘perception’ consists of four guidelines and twenty-nine success criteria.

Text Alternatives

The first of the guidelines are relatively self-explanatory; you should provide text alternatives for content that is non-text so it can be converted into other formats that people require, i.e., braille, large print, speech, etc. For instance, a person with impaired vision can understand the picture in a text if the alt-text is read aloud. If someone is deaf and can’t listen to an audio file, then a text transcript alternative could be displayed so that it can be read instead.

So let’s look at a technique we can implement under guideline 1.1

For blind users who use screen readers, adding alternative text to images and other visual content will reduce accessibility barriers. Screen readers can only analyze text, not images, so alternative text describing the image is required.

As an example, if you had an image of a dog riding a bicycle in your content, you would use HTML code similar to the following:

<img src=”dogdriver.jpg” alt=”Dog riding a bicycle”>

As simple as that! With popular content management systems such as WordPress, you don’t even need to add HTML; there will be a field in the description where you can type in the alternative text. Ideally, you will want the alternative text to be short and to the point. Context is also important; it shouldn’t be a game of charades for the reader. The alternative text ‘funny looking man, with a short mustache and his hair, brushed to one side’ or ‘Image of Adolf Hitler’ which do you think makes more sense to your reader?

Time-based Media

This guideline is to provide alternative options for time-based media. Content that is considered time-based includes audio only, video only, or audio-video.

To ensure that your audio-only content is accessible to people with hearing impairments, you should make a text equivalent readably available such as transcriptions. For video-only content, as with audio-only content, you should provide a text equivalent or an audio track describing the video. For audio-video content, you will need an audio description, text alternative, captions, and if you wish to meet level AAA requirement sign language interpretation.

Let’s explore this guideline a little further by discussing the benefits of closed captions. You have probably seen sites such as YouTube that automatically create captions for videos uploaded on their site; however, they aren’t always the best quality. Still, you can easily edit your video captions using the captions manager.

Closed captions will ensure your videos are accessible to anyone who can’t hear the audio. While this obviously applies to deaf users, it also makes your video content accessible to people who can’t hear the audio because they are in a noisy environment or even a quiet one, for instance, the library. It can also be beneficial to non-native speakers who might find it easier to follow the captions than the audio.

Adaptable

Guideline 1.3 is ‘adaptable’; this requires you to create content that is displayed in different ways without loss of information or structure. WCAG, for example, suggests a simpler layout. One of the great benefits of electronic over paper text is its adaptability; font sizes and colors can be changed as well as several other formatting properties. There are six testable success criteria under this guideline.

For blind people who rely on screen readers to read web content, semantic markup makes it much easier to understand a page’s structure and navigate it. You use semantic markup to specify headings, lists, and special text, for instance, text that is bolded. Using Semantic markup can also be useful for non-disabled users to navigate a page; it also helps Google understand your content, so it is excellent for SEO purposes. Additionally, it is essential to present the information in a linear and logical way so that screen readers and Google bots can make sense of your content.

For headings, you would start with the title of your page, which would be the most important and, therefore, would be heading 1 (<h1>); for subheadings, you would use heading 2,3,4 (<h2> <h3> <h4>), etc.

For example, we are making use of headings on this page.

  • Heading 1 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • Heading 2 POUR – The Four Principles of Accessibility
  • Heading 3 Perceivable
  • Heading 4 Guidelines 1.1 to 1.4

The example above is also a form of semantic markup by providing the content in bullet point format. By grouping, lists unordered lists <ul> such as the bullet point format list above. Ordered lists that are numbered<ol> and description list <dl>) screen readers can interpret the web page easier. Lists can inform the reader of how many items there are and which are being readout. You can also emphasize text in bold, but it should be noted that this type of visual styling should not be used for headings.

Another example of adaptability is ensuring that your content can be displayed in more than one display orientation. This can be achieved using CSS and setting the orientation so that it allows both portrait or landscape. Imagine if a wheelchair user had their device attached to the arm of the chair so it would be fixed in one orientation, whether horizontal or vertical; either way, they should be able to view the content without having to realign the device.

Distinguishable

The last guideline under the accessibility principle ‘perceivable’ is 1.4 distinguishable. To meet this guideline, it is required to make it easier for the user to hear and see content, which includes separating the foreground from the background.

When it comes to web design, we know how important color is; it adds appeal and emotion to your content and can be used to communicate a call to action. However, not all users perceive color in the same way if they have low vision or are color blind. To ensure that the information can be communicated to these users, another visual indication other than color should be used. An example would be if the text links to other content on your site were in blue, you could underline them so that they could be identified as such by users with difficulty perceiving color.

Oftentimes, color is used to visualize data on charts and graphs, so how do we make them more accessible to those with low-vision and color-blindness. To ensure all your users are happy and can read your data, you need to add alternatives to colors such as shapes, shading, labels, text descriptions, and different types of line styles.

A basic definition of contrast ratio in the context of a web page would be the difference between your text’s darkness and the background’s lightness. Contrast ratios are numbered from 1:1 to 21:1—the first digit referring to the relative luminance of the light colors, the second to the darker shades. To meet the minimum requirements, level AA for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines text and images must be at least 4.5:1. For large-scale text and images need to be 3:1 for incidental text or images that are purely for decoration or not visible, and for the text that is part of a logo, there are no contrast requirements. To assist you in picking color combinations that fulfill the color contrast ratio minimums, there are several free color contrast checkers available online.

Before we move on to the next principle, another simple fix for this guideline is to meet the requirement for playing audio automatically. The guideline states that if you have audio that plays automatically on your web page for more than three seconds that there must be a means in place to pause or stop the audio or a mechanism available to control the audio volume independently. The reason for this is that if a person is using screen reading software and other audio is playing at the same time, and will find it difficult to hear the synthesized speech produced by the reader. The simplest way to fix this is to play the audio at the request of the user only, have the audio automatically turn off within three seconds, or provide control at the start of the page that turns off audio that plays automatically.

Operable

User interface components and navigation must be operable.

Operability is the principle that explores how users can interact with your site; it covers areas such as keyboard accessibility; if your web content is mouse dependent, then it will be difficult for some users to access it. Operability also looks at allowing users sufficient time to interact with the content and avoiding using rapid flashing content that could cause seizures for some users.

Guidelines 2.1 to 2.5

The second of the web content accessibility guidelines ‘operable’ consists of five guidelines and twenty-nine success criteria.

Keyboard Accessible

For some, using a mouse is not an option; therefore, any interactive parts of your website must be operable employing a keyboard. If elements of your website aren’t keyboard accessible, screen readers, and other types of assistive technology also won’t be able to access this content. These devices emulate the functionality of a keyboard though they may differ in look from a standard keyboard. If elements of your web content are only accessible using a mouse, you are excluding a wide range of users. For instance, a person who has impaired motor control or tremors will find it difficult to use a mouse. If a person has no use of their hands, they can use a mouth stick to use a keyboard. Many users without disabilities prefer to use a keyboard over a mouse. A temporary disability such as a broken arm or if the mouse stopped working could hinder accessibility if the content were only operable by the mouse.

Enough Time

Different people need different amounts of time to perform a task. This is especially when it comes to web content, and those with disabilities often find they need longer to complete functions on the web. Ideally, they should have unlimited time available to complete a task on a webpage. Motor impairment can make a user’s movement slower, and if a person has a cognitive disability, it could mean they are slower at processing information. Even people using assistive technology will vary in how long they take to finish a task, especially if it is new to them.

There are time limits set for security reasons, such as online banking. Often there will be time limits set when purchasing products online or booking flights or hotels. Another area that time limits are set will be online exams or tests set by educational organizations.

Different circumstances will require different solutions, but all users should be given enough time to finish any task that they need to complete. This could be turning off any set time limits or allowing for special dispensations if required.

Seizures and Physical Reactions

For some people, especially those with cognitive disabilities, flashing or animated web content can be a distraction; it can trigger a seizure for those susceptible. You should ensure that no element of your content flashes more than three times per second, as this can cause a seizure. Ideally, all animated or flashing content is best avoided.

Navigable

Guideline 2.4 focuses on ways in which you can help users to navigate and find the content they are looking for on your website. Conforming with the criteria under this guideline will be especially beneficial to screen reader users and those with cognitive disabilities.

We have previously discussed semantic markup and how it can help users navigate a site. Using keyboard shortcuts or touch gestures with screen readers, a list of headings in a text is easily accessible when marked up correctly. Blind users can select a heading and jump ahead to specific sections of the text, which are of most relevance to them. This can be all the more important if they wish to navigate a particularly long text. As we already noted, the heading should be provided in a logical sequence.

A keyboard shortcut or touch gesture can also be used to show a list of links in the text. For best practices, you should aim to limit the number of links you have on a web page and avoid ambiguous link texts. If you have link text such as  “click here” or “read more,” they will lack clarity. Users will know where the destination link takes them if you provide a clear description for each one.

Input Modalities

The reason for this guideline is to ensure that content can be controlled using simple and straightforward inputs on various input devices such as sip and puff systems or head controlled mouse.

Some pointing methods lack the accuracy and fine motor capabilities of others. Gestures that typically require a high level of dexterity should have simpler gesture alternatives in place, making it easier for people with certain disabilities to perform. The design elements should be made to avoid any activation by accident and provide undo or abort functionality. Active elements such as buttons and links should be designed so that they are large enough to be easily touch activated.

Understandable

Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable.

What do we mean when we talk about website content being understandable? By conforming to the three guidelines of readability, predictability, and input assistance, we can ensure the information we provide in our content and the operation of our user interface are understandable to all users.

Guidelines 3.1 to 3.3

The third of the web content accessibility guidelines, ‘understandable’ consists of three guidelines and seventeen success criteria.

Readable

This principle’s first guideline emphasizes that your text context should be as easy to read and understand as you can possibly make it. Obviously, this depends on different factors, such as your target audience and the subject matter of your content. You should use language that is clear and simple that matches the appropriate level of your intended audience.

For blind users who use screen readers to access web content, it is important to indicate the language of the text. If you use HTML, you will use the lang attribute to set the default language of your web page; for example, if the web page were in Spanish, it would be <html lang=”es”> or for US English <html lang=”en-US”>.

If the screen reader identifies the correct language, then the correct pronunciation rules will be loaded. If there is more than one language used in the content, this is even more important if the language is in the wrong voice; it can make it challenging to understand.

If there are words or phrases in the content that aren’t in the primary language, you would use the lang attribute and embed it in an element such as a span or div to switch languages.

By setting the correct language, those who use screen readers, text to speech assistive technology, or rely on captions can easily understand the content.

Predictable

The guideline ‘predictability’ is about ensuring that elements on your website remain consistent and are intuitive to understand. If a site is structured and formatted in a consistent manner, it makes it easier to use for everybody. For instance, if your navigation links changed from page to page and didn’t remain consistent, you could understand how frustrating this would be to visitors on your sites, even more so for those with cognitive and visual disabilities.

The underlining of text to indicate it is a hyperlink would be one example of consistency that most of us are familiar with; if the formatting was inconsistent, i.e., some hyperlinks underlined, some not, non-hyperlinked text underlined, and so on, it will appear confusing to users.

Much of this guideline is to do with common sense web design; your site should be designed so that it doesn’t confuse your users by changing the context without warning as they navigate the interface, such as opening a new window or going to a new page. If a new window is required to open, then the user should be warned.

Input Assistance

Websites vary in the interaction required by their users; some are much more complicated and have complex interactions in which the user needs to complete many steps, for instance, inputting and confirming information.

Often a user can run into difficulties, so clear instructions and guidance are needed. You may have experienced this frustration yourself when filling a form out online. You might have had trouble completing it because a number of fields were highlighted in red, indicating that you had entered incorrect information, but no explanation was given as to why it was wrong. Another poorly executed design you might have encountered after completing a form online is not being informed if the form has been submitted successfully.

Users with disabilities are more inclined to make input errors; someone with motor impairment may accidentally press the wrong key. A person with a visual impairment might have difficulty understanding which fields are required and optional when completing an online form.

The steps to meet this particular accessibility guideline in most cases is common sense design; users could be notified of errors as they enter information, offer guidelines to assist the user for any error when a form is successfully submitted the user should be informed.

Inputting the incorrect data on a website with no recourse in some cases can have significant ramifications for the user. Fortunately, there is a success criterion under this guideline that addresses this issue.

Success Criterion 3.3.4 applies to error prevention for websites that involve financial transactions, legal commitments, or that delete or modify user-controlled data in data storage systems or submit user test responses.

Examples of this include booking non-refundable flights where a user disabled or not could easily input the wrong flight date or taking an online test and submitting an answer by mistake. It is very easy for those with cognitive impairments to transpose numbers or letters or for someone with motor impairment to press a button in error.

To comply with the success criterion, the website must be either designed so that the submission is reversible or that the user data inputted is checked for errors and they are given a chance to correct them, or a means is in place to review, confirm, and correct information before final submission.

Robust

Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

The final principle is about how to make your website robust. A robust website is one that different user agents can interpret; a user agent is software that acts on behalf of a user, such as operating systems or browsers. Developers need to ensure that websites work with current user agents and assistive technology and aim to future proof them as much as possible.

While different people have their own particular requirements and preferences regarding the operating systems and browsers in this digital age, we all expect web pages that we access to work. If a user arrives on a site that doesn’t support the technology they are using, it can be a frustrating experience. They will likely go to another site that is more ‘robust.’

The best means to ensure that websites are accessible and display content correctly comes down to how well it is coded. When a web page is created, coding errors are likely to occur; most are likely to be minor and have little effect on its appearance or functionality. However, if an HTML document has significant issues, it won’t display correctly, for instance, on certain browsers or with some assistive technology. Valid HTML will ensure that your webpage will work with a wide range of technology, making it accessible for all users.

Guideline 4.1

The fourth and last of the web content accessibility guidelines ‘robust’ consists of only one guideline and three success criteria.

Compatible

The goal to be achieved with guideline 4.1 is to ensure that web pages display correctly with all current future browsers, assistive technologies, and web-enabled devices.

With web technology evolving more rapidly than ever, and assistive technology always not far behind, it is important that websites are coded to the specifications of the technologies being used. Valid, clean, and modern HTML enables web content to work smoothly with a wide range of current and future technologies.

There are only three success criteria for this guideline. The first two will ensure that you conform to WCAG minimum requirements for guideline 4.1 and the third to level AA. As this principle has much fewer components than the previous three, we will take a look at all three success criteria.

Success criteria 4.1.1 is about fixing or preventing parsing issues. A cleanly coded web page with HTML that isn’t broken or badly coded is less likely to result in parsing issues for assistive technology. By fixing issues such as incomplete start and end tags, duplicate IDs, and elements with duplicate attributes.

Success criteria 4.1.2 is primarily aimed at web authors who develop or script their own user interface components. Standard HTML controls already meet this success criterion by default if coded according to specification. The purpose of this success criterion is to ensure that assistive technologies get the required semantic information from all the interactive elements on the web page. Each element has an accessible name, role, value, state, and property that are communicated to assistive technologies. Consequently, this information allows individuals with disabilities to engage with these interactive elements.

Success Criteria 4.1.3 is intended to benefit users of screen readers to receive feedback when they have performed an action on a website. For the majority of website users, we will see visual feedback on the screen, such as an error message or confirmation that our action was a success. This content is often added dynamically without the page reloading, so it will usually be invisible to screen readers.  With the advent of WAI-ARIA, it is relatively simple to provide feedback to screen readers. It is beyond this article’s scope to discuss ARIA in any detail, but in short, it is a set of attributes that can be added to HTML elements to make them more accessible to assistive technology users.

In a Nutshell

Providing people with disabilities accessibility to your web content shouldn’t be an afterthought. We need to strive to meet all users’ needs, but often, people with disabilities benefit the most from having access to digital content. The purpose of this article was to give an overview of what the WCAG is trying to achieve and hopefully further inspire designers, developers, and writers to explore making web content more accessible.

The web content accessibility guidelines website is the best resource to assist individuals, organizations, and governments in meeting the conformance level they require. It might look daunting to tackle at first. Still, if you take it one step at a time and celebrate those small victories towards web accessibility, you will soon have achieved level AA compliance by implementing the recommended techniques. We wish you success on your web accessibility journey.