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Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria in Updated WCAG 2.0 Supporting Notes

From: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:39:45 -0500
Message-ID: <5228EC11.5000505@w3.org>
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Dear WAI Interest Group Participants,

W3C WAI today published updates to two supporting documents for Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) 2.0:
- Techniques for WCAG 2.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/
- Understanding WCAG 2.0 http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/

Background:

WCAG 2.0 itself is a stable document that does not change. The WCAG guidelines and success criteria are designed to be broadly applicable to current and future web technologies, including dynamic applications, mobile, digital television, etc. For an introduction to the WCAG documents, see the WCAG Overview <http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag.php>.

The supporting resources published today (called W3C Working Group Notes) provide specific guidance -- including code examples, resources, and tests -- and are updated periodically to cover current practices for meeting WCAG.

Important updates:

Some of the updates published today provide important clarifications on the role of techniques. The *new Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria* section <http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/understanding-techniques> explains that W3C's techniques are informative and are not intended to be required. It reiterates that the basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard (not the techniques). It points to cautions against requiring the only W3C's published techniques under "What would be the negative consequences of allowing only W3C's published techniques to be used for conformance to WCAG 2.0?" in the WCAG 2 FAQ <http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/wcag2faq#techsnot>.

The updates include clarifications in existing techniques for different technologies. Note that publication of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all cases to create accessible content that meets WCAG 2.0. Developers need to be aware of the limitations of specific technologies and ensure that they provide content in a way that is accessible to all their potential users.

Some of the updates clarify how WCAG can apply in different situations and they help set the foundation for future work on techniques for HTML5, WAI-ARIA <http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/aria>, and mobile accessibility <http://www.w3.org/WAI/mobile/>.

Will you help?
Updating and expanding these WCAG supporting documents is on-going work.
- You can send in your ideas for new techniques via the Techniques for WCAG 2.0 submission form at <http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/TECHS-SUBMIT/>.
- If you are interested in actively contributing to the development of additional WCAG support material through the WCAG Working Group, please see Participating in WAI at <http://www.w3.org/WAI/participation> and contact Michael Cooper.

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About the URIs:
The first links above go to the latest version of the documents. The "dated" versions are:
- http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20130905/
- http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20-20130905/
The difference between these links are explained in Referencing and Linking to WAI Guidelines and Technical Documents at http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/linking.html

Please let us know if you have any questions.
Feel free to circulate this message to other lists; please avoid cross-postings where possible.

Regards,
Shawn Henry, W3C, WAI Outreach
Andrew Kirkpatrick, Adobe Systems Inc., WCAG WG Co-Chair
Joshue O Connor, WCAG WG Co-Chair
Michael Cooper, W3C, WCAG WG Staff Contact




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Shawn Lawton Henry
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
e-mail: shawn@w3.org
phone: +1.617.395.7664
about: http://www.w3.org/People/Shawn/
Received on Thursday, 5 September 2013 20:39:55 UTC

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