What is WCAG?
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Every person who visits your site is different. Some will interact with the content in just the way you would anticipate. However, there is a huge section of the population that won’t. According to a 2015 CDC report, 53 million adults in the US live with a disability. This is admittedly pretty general and can mean that people have a lot of different disabilities. However, what the number “53 million” boils down to for you is there are ways to improve your site and give those millions of people the help they need. That’s why WCAG 2.0 exists, they want to help you to help your users. WCAG 2.0 guidelines were developed to create a baseline that would achieve the following, “…single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.” Still a bit vague? Let’s delve into the guidelines a bit more to get a better understanding of what WCAG 2.0 means to you.
What Does WCAG Impact?
WCAG 2.0 rules mean that we need to fix a big problem. Online content is often difficult for entire groups of people to access because it’s not built to accommodate specific disabilities. These rules strive to help include everyone by adapting content to suit their needs in the following ways:
Consider how a blind or visually impaired person uses the internet. If they’re on a website, they’ll likely be zooming in on content to enlarge it or using text-to-speech to have the text read to them. These accommodations only work if the website is built to facilitate them. If a site is crammed full of images without alt text, then text-to-speech won’t alert the person to the presence of an image. If the text is a light font on a light background, then no matter how much the person zooms, they might not be able to read it. It’s not just about vision either, other disabilities such as motor impairments and auditory disabilities can also impact how a user perceives your site. WCAG 2.0 works to help website owners understand their user’s limitations and make the necessary adjustments.