Did you know that most people use the internet but don’t know how to make it work for them? That’s why the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, were launched in 1999 as a user-centered standard. This article will make you understand the WCAG in just a few minutes.

What is Web Content Accessibility?

According to the experts at AudioEye, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, is a collection of best practices that are intended to help make the internet more accessible to people across the globe. It’s also designed to empower people with disabilities such as vision impairment, learning difficulties, or cognitive disabilities.

4 Principles of Web Content Accessibility

1. Usability

The WCAG was designed so that these people could access the world wide web no matter what their condition. Usability is the most fundamental principle. If a user cannot understand and navigate a website that is navigable for every other person, there’s something seriously wrong. WCAG is taken so seriously that even the White House Office of the Press Secretary has joined in with the WCAG. The White House Office of the Press Secretary is a branch of the United States federal government that provides its services to the President and other United States government leaders. It was launched in 1996.

2. Accessibility (Accessibility)

WCAG aims to make all websites accessible for people with disabilities such as vision impairment, learning difficulties, or cognitive disabilities. It’s considered to be one of the most comprehensive standards for designing websites and other online applications.

3. Readability

The next principle is readability. This is about the readability level of a document. Usually, no one reads all that much text on a website because it’s just too long or too complicated for anyone to understand. However, people with disabilities can press the shortcut keys on their keyboard to hear the visual content aloud, so they know what they’re reading. WCAG is very strict about this, and it contains many rules to make it possible.

4. Compatibility

The fourth principle is compatibility. This principle aims to ensure that all the websites have been designed with standard web browsers in mind. With the WCAG, anyone can use a web browser to view websites, along with people who can’t use a mouse or keyboards to navigate the internet, such as those who use mobile phones or speech recognition tools. This is also the reason why websites are designed for HTML and CSS. HTML is a code that allows web pages to be viewed by people, while CSS is a style sheet language that helps display the content on a webpage.

Should I use WCAG 2.0 or 2.1?

It’s a good idea to use WCAG 2.0 or 2.1, as these versions are the most current ones at the moment. However, don’t use 2.0 or 2.1 if you’re using software that isn’t compatible with them.

Reasons Why Websites should be Accessible

1. Mobile Accessibility

People who are blind can use a mobile phone to access the internet as long as the interface can be interpreted by auditory software. This means that buttons and visual elements should be labeled, so accessibility is easy for blind people.

2. Assistive Technology

Certain web browsers have color-coded highlighting, screen readers, and speech output features. Therefore, all the text on a website should be written at a maximum of 18 words per line. By doing this, it’s easier for everyone to read the text, including people who have learning disabilities.

3. Sustainability

It’s a good idea to use WCAG compliant software to make websites more sustainable for people. With WCAG compliance, any person can access and understand the content of a website regardless of disability.

4. Affordability

Making your website accessible can be a bit expensive, but it’s well worth the cost. It’s much more affordable to follow the WCAG than paying fines for violating the ADA/ADAAA act. According to this act, you could lose millions in lawsuits if websites are considered non-compliant. And this doesn’t just apply to the USA; it applies to the entire globe, even if you live in Europe or Asia.

Why Do Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Matter?

They matter because they give people the freedom to live their life the way they want. If a person can’t use the desktop, it’s doubtful that they will get around and enjoy internet content.

Conclusion

You now know what usability, accessibility, readability, and compatibility is. You have also learned the four principles of web content accessibility. By reading this article, you may have discovered a lot about WCAG and how useful it can be to people around the globe. If you’re designing a website that can be accessible to all people, it definitely should have passed the WCAG standards.