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

From: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 08:02:46 -0800
Message-ID: <824e742c0812110802s5ec526cci367edad8f948eb54@mail.gmail.com>
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Congratulations, everyone! It's official! WCAG 2.0 is a W3C Recommendation.

Last week, we said we'd cancel today's meeting, but we thought it would be
nice for people to get on the call at the usual time. No agenda, no
requirement to be here, but we think people will welcome the opportunity to
congratulate each other today. We'll probably only be on the phone for 1/2
hour or so.

Loretta and Gregg

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>
Date: Thu, Dec 11, 2008 at 7:02 AM
Subject: WCAG 2.0 - W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next
Generation Web
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
* 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

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

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

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

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/
Received on Thursday, 11 December 2008 16:03:26 UTC

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