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Re: WCAG 2.0 - W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web


From: Moore, Michael
Date: Dec 11, 2008 2:30PM


Congratulations and Thank You! I know that this has been a major effort
that was not easy. I believe that these new standards will provide
better support and greater flexibility to adapt to changing
technologies. Great job by all of the W3C/WAI members!

Mike Moore
DARS Accessibility Coordinator

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Shawn Henry
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:17 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] WCAG 2.0 - W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for
Next Generation Web

Dear WebAIM readers,

W3C announced today the publication of WCAG 2.0. An online press release
that includes links to other languages and information about W3C and WAI
is at:

Perspectives on the publication are addressed in the W3C Q&A blog from:

See the end of this e-mail message for links to WCAG 2.0 resources.

Feel free to circulate this message to other lists; please avoid
cross-postings where possible.

============PRESS RELEASE

W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web

Collaborative Effort Results in More Flexible and Testable Standard;
Advances Accessibility of the Web

http://www.w3.org/ -- 11 December 2008 -- Today W3C announces a new
standard that will help Web designers and developers create sites that
better meet the needs of users with disabilities and older users.
Drawing on extensive experience and community feedback, the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 improve upon W3C's groundbreaking
initial standard for accessible Web content.

This new standard from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) will
advance accessibility across the full range of Web content (such as
text, images, audio, and video) and Web applications. WCAG 2.0 can be
more precisely tested, yet it allows Web developers more flexibility and
potential for innovation. Together with supporting technical and
educational materials, WCAG 2.0 is easier to understand and use.

WCAG 2.0 addresses barriers to accessing the Web experienced by people
with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive and neurological
disabilities, and by older Web users with accessibility needs. WCAG 2.0
explains how to make content:
* Perceivable (for instance by addressing text alternatives for images,
captions for audio, adaptability of presentation, and color contrast);
* Operable (by addressing keyboard access, color contrast, timing of
input, seizure avoidance, and navigability);
* Understandable (by addressing readability, predictability, and input
assistance); and
* Robust (for instance by addressing compatibility with assistive

Wide Support for WCAG 2.0

"Because WCAG 2.0 applies to all Web technologies, it can help ensure
that the Web stays open to people with disabilities even as we
continually introduce new technologies. We incorporated feedback from
thousands of comments received during the development of WCAG 2.0
regarding user needs, and technical feasibility," said Dr. Gregg
Vanderheiden, Co-Chair of WCAG Working Group, and Director of the Trace
R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin. "WCAG 2.0 represents the
outcome of a major collaborative effort, and its final form is widely
supported by industry, disability organizations, research and
government. This balance is important in order for WCAG 2.0 to serve as
a unifying international standard for Web accessibility."

Extensive supporting materials to help developers and policy-makers
include WCAG 2.0 at a Glance; WCAG 2.0 Documents; How to Meet WCAG 2.0:
A Customizable Quick Reference; Understanding WCAG 2.0; and Techniques
for WCAG 2.0. Techniques are already available for HTML, CSS, SMIL,
Scripting, and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), and are
under development for additional Web technologies. Resources to support
transition include How to Update Your Web Site to WCAG 2.0. Essential
Components of Web Accessibility describes the relationship between WCAG
2.0 and other Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines that also
have 2.0 versions under development.

Far-Reaching Impact

"Web accessibility helps us reach a broader audience by supporting
access to the Web for people with disabilities, as well as increasing
usability across a variety of mobile devices," explained Loretta Guarino
Reid, Co-Chair of WCAG WG, and Google Accessibility Engineer. "The Web
community helped us demonstrate successful use of WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.0
test procedures in diverse types of Web technologies, Web content,
interactive applications, and natural languages. These trial
implementations also show the continuity between WCAG 1.0 and 2.0, as
most Web sites that conformed to WCAG 1.0 did not need significant
changes to meet WCAG 2.0."

While WCAG 1.0 was adopted widely, there is even broader interest in
adoption of WCAG 2.0 by organizations and governments worldwide. The
Policy for Authorized W3C Translations is expected to facilitate direct
adoption in local languages.

"In the recently passed United Nations Convention on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities, access to information and communications
technologies is for the first time recognized internationally as a human
right," according to George Kerscher, Secretary General of the DAISY
Consortium. "WCAG 2.0 will help to make access to information a reality
around the world."

Current and recent participants in the WCAG Working Group include Adobe,
AOL, Google, IBM, International Webmasters Association/HTML Writers'
Guild, Microsoft, NIST, SAP, and Vision Australia, and individual
Invited Experts from research, disability, government and standards
organizations in Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United
States. In addition, the extensive public review process resulted in
comments from hundreds of organizations and individuals around the

======================TESTIMONIALS IN SUPPORT

These organizations expressed support of WCAG 2.0 through testimonials:
Access Board; Adobe; American Association of People with Disabilities;
ANEC; Boeing; CTIC Foundation; Deque; Disability Rights Fund; European
Commission for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities;
European Commission for Information Society and Media; European
Disability Forum; UN Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict);
Hitachi; HP; IBM; Information Technology Research and Standardization
Center (INSTAC); Innovimax; International Webmasters' Association / HTML
Writers' Guild; Internet Society (ISOC); Microsoft; Mitsue-Links;
National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM); SAP; Trace Research &
Development Center; UNESCO; and Vision Australia.

For the full text of these testimonials, see:

=============WCAG RESOURCES

Please see additional information linked below.
WCAG Overview
WCAG 2.0 technical standard
WCAG 2.0 at a Glance
How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference
Blog post
Related WAI Guidelines and Techniques

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Shawn Lawton Henry, Education and Outreach Coordinator, W3C Web
Accessibility Initiative
Judy Brewer, Director, Web Accessibility Initiative
On behalf of:
Loretta Guarino Reid, Co-chair of WCAG WG, and Computer Scientist,
Google Inc.
Gregg Vanderheiden, Co-chair of WCAG WG, and Director of Trace R&D
Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Michael Cooper, W3C Team Contact for WCAG WG

Shawn Lawton Henry
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
phone: +1.617.395.7664
about: http://www.w3.org/People/Shawn/