In the past, few websites considered accessibility. Nowadays, however, accessibility measures are increasingly becoming an established part of good website management. Reasons for this change include the diversification of users and devices; the business advantages of securing accessibility and risks associated with poor accessibility; recent improvements in assistive technologies, such as screen readers; as well as web accessibility laws being enacted around the world.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are used globally to provide criteria for judging what is good practice in securing web content accessibility. The WCAG are formulated by the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), a program which promotes the standardization of various web technologies.
To properly understand and implement the recommendations of guidelines such as WCAG, significant specialist knowledge is required. Therefore, in this service, our accessibility experts, with an in-depth understanding of the guidelines, provide comprehensive support from consultation on WCAG conformance levels to the verification of finished websites.
Through conformance with the WCAG, the internationally accepted web accessibility guidelines, we develop and manage quality websites that are accessible to various users in diverse browsing environments.
WCAG — The International Standard for Web Accessibility
The first version of the WCAG, numbered 1.0, was recommended in May 1999. In December 2008, WCAG 2.0 was published - this contained a substantial update of content simplifying objective evaluation and make it easier to deal with new technologies.
In 2012, WCAG 2.0 was approved as ISO/IEC Standard 40500:2012. Since then it has become widely accepted around the world as the international standard for web accessibility. Furthermore, in 2016, Japan's web accessibility standards, JIS X 8341-3, aligned with ISO/IEC 40500:2012, so the content is technically the same as WCAG 2.0.
In June 2018, WCAG 2.1 was recommended by the W3C. These updated guidelines will supersede WCAG 2.0. The WCAG 2.1 contain an expansion of success criteria for mobile, disabilities that affect vision, and disabilities that affect cognitive function.
One of the key aspects that should be understood when complying with WCAG is that there are three conformance levels; that is, A (lowest), AA and AAA (highest). Although it’s desirable to attain as high a level of conformance as possible, we also consider the content of client websites and the difficulty of verification then suggest the optimum conformance level.
At the phase of defining client requirements, we first determine the most appropriate WCAG conformance level for web content through discussions with client web teams. Then our accessibility experts provide verification and improvement guidance in accordance with the guidelines in each phase of development.
For more information on our services, timeframes and estimates, as well as examples of our work, please feel free to be in touch.
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