According to the experts at AudioEye, “When it comes to understanding website accessibility compliance, the law can be confusing.” The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), currently in its 2.0 stage, does indeed require study.
What follows is a look at what are the different levels of WCAG compliance and what that means to your business website.
Levels of Compliance
WCAG 2.0 consists of three separate categories for accessibility compliance. These are A, AA, and AAA. Each has its own set of criteria for compliance. The regulations do not provide specific actions to take. They instead outline the accessibility a website needs for compliance.
As none of these guidelines are enforceable, the determination for accessibility is pretty much an in-house process. Hence, whether to be an A, AA or AAA is a strategy a company implements based on what its users most need.
Level A & Minimal Compliance
If your website isn’t at least level A, the disabled may have difficulty using your site. Some of the more notable issues here are:
- Key traps
- Navigation issues with keyboard
- Content alternatives
- Captioned video
- Shapes, colors, sizes, etc. are not conveyed sufficiently
Level AA & Acceptable Compliance
Level AA utilizes the most common rules and regulations for accessibility. The website’s considered comprehensible and navigable for users with and without disabilities.
Here are notable requirements of Level AA:
- Color contrast is at a minimal 4.5:1
- A solution like alt text is in place for images that provide meaning
- Navigation components are consistent
- Fields on forms have concise labels
- Status updates are screen reader capable
- Headings are in a logical order
Level AAA & Optimal Compliance
AAA means you’ve done everything feasible to maximize access to your content for all users. As there are no strict laws forcing compliance, a company that strives for AAA has gone above and beyond. It shows your determination and dedication to all your consumers alike.
Notable WCAG compliance suggestions for AAA requirements include:
- Audio or video content has sign language interpretation
- In most instances, color contrast is 7:1
- No activity is essentially dependent on timing
- There is support for content-sensitive material
When initiating their websites, no business had any idea how important the internet would become in our daily interactions. Today, it can cost a hefty price to refresh websites to meet compliance.
Some businesses don’t discover their lack of compliance until confronted with the complaint. Many companies have avoided upgrades because there are no strict rules and they’re not sure about the investment or implementation. But over the years, there has been a growing number of complaints and lawsuits involving lack of accessibility by business websites.
In time, it’s likely no business will be able to use ignorance to ignore WCAG guidelines as a whole. So, having a firm grasp of the three WCAG compliance levels and why they’re important makes perfect sense. Designed to help better serve your users and your reputation, it will make implementing the appropriate guidelines easier.
Take the necessary steps to test and correct accessibility issues. It only improves your online stance and can prevent unwanted lawsuits.