s far as acronyms go, WCAG 2.1 is a bit of a doozy. It’s not the most recognisable, and certainly not the easiest to say. There’s a good chance you’ve never even heard of it before. No worries- this blog is here to answer all your questions.
What is WCAG 2.1?
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It’s a wide-ranging set of recommendations for making digital content more accessible for people with disabilities. It’s incredibly comprehensive too, taking into account all kinds of restrictions caused by physical or cognitive disabilities. Many of the recommendations are also just good design principles that benefit all users.
Why is it so important?
Many people with disabilities, such as visual or motor impairments struggle to navigate digital content. They are often unable to use equipment that others take for granted, such as a mouse, keyboard or screen. As so much of society becomes more and more digital, many people risk being unfairly excluded on the basis of a disability. The ability to have a fulfilling career is particularly at risk for exclusion if workplaces cannot provide inclusive digital environments.
What does WCAG 2.1 involve?
There are four principles into which the recommendations are sorted. The four principles are:
Each recommendation has a success criteria with up to three levels of conformance; Levels A, AA and AAA. Level A defines the lowest level of conformance, and Level AAA defines the highest level of conformance, which is the most difficult to achieve. These day, much web content is able to achieve Level A conformance thanks to awareness of recommendations like alt text. However, it is very rare for content to meet even Level AA of conformance.
HowToo is passionate about contributing to digital accessibility. That’s why we strive to meet Level AA across all our digital content, including the HowToo tool, published learning objects and our website. To achieve this goal, we work closely with Intopia, a fantastic agency that helps organisations like us to become more accessible and inclusive.
How can I check if my digital content is accessible?
Easy! Download our free Accessibility Checklist. It’s based directly on WCAG 2.1, but puts the recommendations in simple, easy to understand language. You can see exactly where you’re doing well, and where you could improve.