Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were created by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the W3C. The guidelines were formally made Recommendations in 1999, and a lot has changed since then. Some of the techniques that are advocated in the WCAG 1.0 Techniques resource are outdated and may no longer apply in the same way as when the guidelines were released.

These guidelines have several related checkpoints organized according to three different priority levels from Priority 1 (most critical for web accessibility) to Priority 3 (important but having less impact on overall accessibility). At http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/WAI-WEBCONTENT-19990505, each of the checkpoints are listed following their related guidelines along with their priority level. For a view of the checkpoints organized according to their priority level, go to http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/full-checklist.html.

Guideline 1: Provide equivalent alternatives to auditory and visual content.

Following this rule ensures that visually or aurally impaired people have access to the content that they are unable to perceive. “Equivalent alternatives” refers to ensuring that images have appropriate alt text that represents the image, that audio content has captions provided, and that video includes audio description. Remember, when deciding what an equivalent alternative is, you must consider both the content and function of the original.

Guideline 2: Don’t rely on color alone.

When you rely ...

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