What Does WCAG Stand For?
If you’ve ever looked up ‘web accessibility’, chances are, you’ve come across WCAG, WCAG 2.0, or some variation of this. WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. WCAG 2.0 is the current working web accessibility standard.
See, at the time of writing, there is no official standard for ADA compliance on the web. However, that doesn’t mean the ADA doesn’t apply to the web. Web content needs to be held to a standard of accessibility that provides an equal experience for all users. So how can you be sure that your web content provides an equal experience for all users?
That’s where Web Content Accessibility Guidelines come in. WCAG 2.0 has been acting as a point of reference in recent web accessibility lawsuits. And it also makes a great roadmap for developers and accessibility consultants.
A, AA, and AAA
WCAG 2.0 is broken up into three levels of compliance. A, AA, and AAA—with AAA being the highest. If content fulfills the requirements for AAA, it also fulfills the requirements of A and AA. It’s also important to note that WCAG 2.1 is backwards compatible. Content that fulfills the requirements of WCAG 2.1 will also fulfill the requirements of WCAG 2.0.
The guidelines for compliance are broken up into smaller topics that pertain to various assets of a site or individual content. It isn’t always possible to achieve a AAA rating, since not all of these guidelines will pertain to all content.The WCAG document makes note of this. The WCAG doesn’t recommend that AAA compliance be required for entire sites. A good accessibility consultant will be able to talk you through what is possible for your site and what level you should aim for.