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Legislation

WCAG 2.1

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. They are the most important guidelines for Web accessibility policy and set the standard for Web accessibility legislation in most countries around the world.

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What are WCAG 2.1?

To really understand why WCAG is so important, one needs to know the institution that conceived it. The WCAG were created by the World Wide Web Consortium, known as the W3C. The W3C was founded in October 1994 in the halls of the MIT Computer Laboratory (MIT/LCS), when global Web activity was beginning to increase exponentially. The organization consists of more than 440 members including leaders of companies, nonprofit organizations, universities, government agencies and relevant industries, as well as top scientists in the field.

W3C originally focused on standardizing web protocols so that websites and web tools would be compatible with each other. Each W3C standard is reviewed several times, tested and analyzed before being approved by members. Usually, W3C standards have 3 levels of compliance, from A to AAA.

Web accessibility was one of the first issues addressed by the W3C. The first WCAGs were published in 1999, revised in 2008 as WCAG 2.0 and updated again in 2018 in the form we use today, the 2.1

What are the basic criteria?

  • Compatible with Screen-readers: all site content must be able to be read accurately and clearly by screen-readers and assistive software installed on the operating system and used by blind people to access navigational digital content.
  • Compatible with Keyboard Navigation: the site must be fully navigable and operable using only the keyboard, without the need for a mouse. This feature is used by people with motor disabilities.
  • Compatible with User Interface and Design: one must implement sufficient color contrast ratio between foreground and background elements, set correct and readable font size, have sufficient text spacing, text emphasis, and other adjustments related to design and user interface.
  • Safe from possible induction of epilepsy episodes: animations must be able to be stopped so that people with epilepsy can navigate safely without risking a seizure.
  • Understandable by people with cognitive disabilities: content should be written in very simple, understandable words or alternatively a glossary or dictionary should be included to help readers with cognitive and learning disabilities understand the content correctly.

How WCAG affects accessibility laws


WCAG influences legislation and many governments have adopted it as a standard for their web accessibility laws. Read more: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

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