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[Fwd: WCAG 2.0 - W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web]

From: Shadi Abou-Zahra <shadi@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 18:00:19 +0100
Message-ID: <49414723.6000707@w3.org>
To: ERT WG <public-wai-ert@w3.org>

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: WCAG 2.0 - W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next 
Generation  Web
Resent-Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 15:03:03 +0000
Resent-From: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 10:02:49 -0500
From: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Dear WAI Interest Group Participants,

W3C issued a press release today announcing the publication of WCAG 2.0. 
The online version includes links to other languages and information 
about W3C and WAI, at:

See the end of this e-mail message for links to WCAG 2.0 resources.

Feel free to circulate this message to other lists; please avoid 
cross-postings where possible.


W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web

Collaborative Effort Results in More Flexible and Testable Standard;
Advances Accessibility of the Web

http://www.w3.org/ -- 11 December 2008 -- Today W3C announces a new 
standard that will help Web designers and developers create sites that 
better meet the needs of users with disabilities and older users. 
Drawing on extensive experience and community feedback, the Web Content 
Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 improve upon W3C's groundbreaking 
initial standard for accessible Web content.

This new standard from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) will 
advance accessibility across the full range of Web content (such as 
text, images, audio, and video) and Web applications. WCAG 2.0 can be 
more precisely tested, yet it allows Web developers more flexibility and 
potential for innovation. Together with supporting technical and 
educational materials, WCAG 2.0 is easier to understand and use.

WCAG 2.0 addresses barriers to accessing the Web experienced by people 
with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive and neurological 
disabilities, and by older Web users with accessibility needs. WCAG 2.0 
explains how to make content:
* Perceivable (for instance by addressing text alternatives for images, 
captions for audio, adaptability of presentation, and color contrast);
* Operable (by addressing keyboard access, color contrast, timing of 
input, seizure avoidance, and navigability);
* Understandable (by addressing readability, predictability, and input 
assistance); and
* Robust (for instance by addressing compatibility with assistive 

Wide Support for WCAG 2.0

"Because WCAG 2.0 applies to all Web technologies, it can help ensure 
that the Web stays open to people with disabilities even as we 
continually introduce new technologies. We incorporated feedback from 
thousands of comments received during the development of WCAG 2.0 
regarding user needs, and technical feasibility," said Dr. Gregg 
Vanderheiden, Co-Chair of WCAG Working Group, and Director of the Trace 
R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin. "WCAG 2.0 represents the 
outcome of a major collaborative effort, and its final form is widely 
supported by industry, disability organizations, research and 
government. This balance is important in order for WCAG 2.0 to serve as 
a unifying international standard for Web accessibility."

Extensive supporting materials to help developers and policy-makers 
include WCAG 2.0 at a Glance; WCAG 2.0 Documents; How to Meet WCAG 2.0: 
A Customizable Quick Reference; Understanding WCAG 2.0; and Techniques 
for WCAG 2.0. Techniques are already available for HTML, CSS, SMIL, 
Scripting, and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), and are 
under development for additional Web technologies. Resources to support 
transition include How to Update Your Web Site to WCAG 2.0. Essential 
Components of Web Accessibility describes the relationship between WCAG 
2.0 and other Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines that also 
have 2.0 versions under development.

Far-Reaching Impact

"Web accessibility helps us reach a broader audience by supporting 
access to the Web for people with disabilities, as well as increasing 
usability across a variety of mobile devices," explained Loretta Guarino 
Reid, Co-Chair of WCAG WG, and Google Accessibility Engineer. "The Web 
community helped us demonstrate successful use of WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.0 
test procedures in diverse types of Web technologies, Web content, 
interactive applications, and natural languages. These trial 
implementations also show the continuity between WCAG 1.0 and 2.0, as 
most Web sites that conformed to WCAG 1.0 did not need significant 
changes to meet WCAG 2.0."

While WCAG 1.0 was adopted widely, there is even broader interest in 
adoption of WCAG 2.0 by organizations and governments worldwide. The 
Policy for Authorized W3C Translations is expected to facilitate direct 
adoption in local languages.

"In the recently passed United Nations Convention on the Rights of 
Persons with Disabilities, access to information and communications 
technologies is for the first time recognized internationally as a human 
right," according to George Kerscher, Secretary General of the DAISY 
Consortium. "WCAG 2.0 will help to make access to information a reality 
around the world."

Current and recent participants in the WCAG Working Group include Adobe, 
AOL, Google, IBM, International Webmasters Association/HTML Writers' 
Guild, Microsoft, NIST, SAP, and Vision Australia, and individual 
Invited Experts from research, disability, government and standards 
organizations in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United 
States. In addition, the extensive public review process resulted in 
comments from hundreds of organizations and individuals around the world.


These organizations expressed support of WCAG 2.0 through testimonials:
Access Board; Adobe; American Association of People with Disabilities; 
ANEC; Boeing; CTIC Foundation; Deque; Disability Rights Fund; European 
Commission for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities; 
European Commission for Information Society and Media; European 
Disability Forum; UN Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict); 
Hitachi; HP; IBM; Information Technology Research and Standardization 
Center (INSTAC); Innovimax; International Webmasters' Association / HTML 
Writers' Guild; Internet Society (ISOC); Microsoft; Mitsue-Links; 
National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM); SAP; Trace Research & 
Development Center; UNESCO; and Vision Australia.

For the full text of these testimonials, see: 


Please see additional information linked below.
WCAG Overview
WCAG 2.0 technical standard
WCAG 2.0 at a Glance
How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference
Blog post
Related WAI Guidelines and Techniques

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Shawn Lawton Henry, Education and Outreach Coordinator, W3C Web 
Accessibility Initiative
Judy Brewer, Director, Web Accessibility Initiative
On behalf of:
Loretta Guarino Reid, Co-chair of WCAG WG, and Computer Scientist, 
Google Inc.
Gregg Vanderheiden, Co-chair of WCAG WG, and Director of Trace R&D 
Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Michael Cooper, W3C Team Contact for WCAG WG

Shawn Lawton Henry
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
e-mail: shawn@w3.org
phone: +1.617.395.7664
about: http://www.w3.org/People/Shawn/

Shadi Abou-Zahra - http://www.w3.org/People/shadi/ |
   WAI International Program Office Activity Lead   |
  W3C Evaluation & Repair Tools Working Group Chair |
Received on Thursday, 11 December 2008 17:00:57 UTC

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