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FW: WCAG 2.0 - W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web

From: Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG <rscano@iwa.it>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 16:50:36 +0100
To: "'WAI-AUWG List'" <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Message-ID: <026001c95ba8$39586ee0$ac094ca0$@it>

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

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
* 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
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

Judy Brewer    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), World Wide Web Consortium
MIT/CSAIL Building 32-G526
32 Vassar Street
Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA  

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Received on Thursday, 11 December 2008 15:51:23 UTC

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