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September 2, 2013

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

By Izumi Mitsui

Another acronym, what is it this time?

You don’t need to be a committed web surfer to know content is a key factor in delivering the most relevant information.
However in the midst of focusing on what goes onto a page, have you given enough thought to the accessibility of your content?

Accessibility refers to your content being perceivable, operable, understandable and robust.

In order to improve the quality and consistency of accessible online content, the WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) have created international guidelines to ensure web contents meet a certain level of standards, particularly for people with disabilities.

Is it for me?

If you have an Australian Government Website then according to the Web Accessibility National Transition Strategy Scope, you must conform to the WCAG 2.0 standards.

“WCAG 2.0 is applicable to all online government information and services. Conformance is required on all government websites owned and/or operated by government under any domain. This includes external (public-facing or private) and internal (closed community) sites. That is, conformance is required for all internet, intranet and extranet sites.”

For specific timeframes, inclusions and exclusions please visit the Australian Government Department of Finance website on the link above.

If you don’t fall into the above category there are no regulations. However, at Itomic user experience and usability are given high priority and so believe it’s an important standard to consider for your business.   

Who should have the WCAG document?

The document is primarily created for developers but available for anyone wanting a standard for content accessibility.
The current stable release at the time of writing is WCAG 2.0. Each guideline comes with a success criteria (A, AA, AAA).

If you are about to get a new website make sure you/your web developer knows about WCAG at the very minimum and are capable of delivering a product that meets requirements if necessary.

Why is it important?

Simply put, great accessibility of your web content means you are reaching more of your target audience. If you have great relevant content, why not do everything possible to maximise your reach?

Where can I get my website to meet the WCAG standards?

The Web content accessibility guideline is freely available to anyone wanting to practise great web development.

At Itomic our team is equipped with resources to make the necessary adjustments to ensure your website is WCAG 2.0 compliant. We’d love to help make your content more accessible to your audience.

More questions? Drop us a line or just pop on in, we’re happy to hear from you!