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WCAG 2.1 AA – What Does That Mean?

WCAG 2.1 AA is a set of accessibility guidelines developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). They provide a framework for web developers and designers to create websites accessible to all, including disabled people.

The “AA” in WCAG 2.1 AA stands for “Level AA,” which is the second-highest level of accessibility compliance. AA is the level that many governments consider to be the minimum accessibility requirement for a website. The guidelines are organised into four principles: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. There are four principles, each with their own guidelines and success criteria that must be met to achieve the desired WCAG level of accessibility.

  • Perceivable: This principle requires that Information and user interface components be presentable to users in ways they can perceive no matter their impairment and/or abilities. So that means, for example, that you should ensure images have alternative text, colour is not the only way that meaning is conveyed.
  • Operable: This principle requires that all functionality on a website be operable using a range of input methods, such as a keyboard, a mouse or any other access technology. This includes ensuring that links and buttons are easily identifiable and that there is enough time for users to complete tasks.
  • Understandable: It should be easy to understand page content and easy to use any features on the page such as navigation and any dynamic elements.
  • Robust: This principle requires that all content on a website be designed using the latest web technologies and standards. This includes ensuring that the website works with a range of assistive technologies, such as screen readers and voice recognition software.

Meeting the WCAG 2.1 AA standard is essential for creating a website that is accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or impairment. By following these guidelines, web developers and designers can help all users navigate websites, regardless of any physical or cognitive barriers.

WCAG 2.1 AA – Tell me again what does that mean?

The WCAG 2.1 AA standard is a set of accessibility guidelines that help web developers and designers create websites that are accessible to disabled people. By adhering to these guidelines, websites are said to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust, which ensures that all users can access them. Now, I know that’s a lot of jargon so I’ve written a short article that translates these concepts into what I call ‘Jim Speak’, i.e., I explain what perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust means in ordinary language.

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Take my Web Accessibility Online Training Course - WCAG 2.1 Compliance

Learn to design and manage WCAG compliant, accessible websites with my online course

You will learn both the techniques of accessible website design and an entire ‘framework for thinking about the subject’. It will equip you with the skills to understand, identify and fix issues any accessibility issues you come across. Watch the free videos to get a taste of what is on the course. Video image from Web Accessibility Online Training Course - WCAG 2.1 Compliance

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