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Update on the latest developments in Website Accessibility standards


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) V2.0 as an official W3 Recommendation on 11 December 2008. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.0 cover a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. According to W3C

“following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general”.

The WCAG Version 2.0 succeeds WCAG Guidelines Version 1.0. and although it is possible to conform either to WCAG 1.0 or to WCAG 2.0 (or both), the W3C recommend that new and updated content use WCAG 2.0. The W3C also recommend that Web accessibility policies reference WCAG 2.0.

The British Standards Institute is also working on a new standard for website accessibility. The draft, DPC BS 8878 Web accessibility – Building accessible experiences for disabled people – Code of Practice, recently closed for public comment and according to the BS 8878 information page the full standard is now due for publication in “late 2009”.