The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is an internationally recognised standard created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
The purpose of the WCAG standard is to define how to “… make Web content more accessible to people with disabilities.
Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities.
These guidelines also make Web content more usable by older individuals with changing abilities due to aging and often improve usability for users in general.”.
When creating online content, it’s important that your organisation, or technology platform, meets the WCAG 2.0 standard and POUR Design Principles.
Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This may include text alternatives
Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable.
Understandable: Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable.
Robust: Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies
Levels of Compliance
To achieve WCAG compliance, the W3C has broken up the success criteria into three different implementation levels. These levels are known as Level A, AA and AAA.
Priority 1 – level A: A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents.
Priority 2 – level AA: A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents.
Priority 3 – level AAA: A Web content developer may address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents.
Examples of Compliance
There are many ways to make your video content accessible online – here’s a few examples:
Closed Captions – this text appears over the top of your videos and can be turned on or off by the viewer
Open Captions – similar to closed, the text appears over the top of your video but is burnt on to the player, they cannot be turned on or off by the viewers
Transcripts – transcripts are scripts which are generated from the dialogue in your video
Media Alternative Transcripts – similar to transcripts, however these provide behaviour apparent in your video. E.g. the lady went to the counter with a smiling face
Find out more about these types of compliance here