What is WCAG?

WCAG, short for “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,” is a set of technical guidelines and techniques meant to assist web developers in creating online content that is accessible to the widest range of individuals, including those with disabilities.

WCAG was developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) division of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the international standards organizations for the internet. Originally published in 1999, WCAG has gone through a number of iterations to keep up with the rapidly evolving technical landscape of the web.

Today, we are currently on WCAG 2.0, the second iteration of the standard, with talks of WCAG 2.1 update on the horizon (to learn about the shift from WCAG 1.0 to 2.0, check out our blog post on it here). WCAG 2.0 focuses on four key accessibility principles: Perceivability, Operability, Understandability, and Robustness. (link to each independent blog piece)

The purpose of this strategy is to essentially “future-proof” the WCAG standard—even though technology, hardware and software all advance, the fundamental difficulties of accessibility for individuals with disabilities remains the same.

Regarding WCAG 2.1, the W3C has released a first public working draft, which can be found here. You can learn more about the update from our Q&A session with the WCAG Working Group, which is spearheading the update effort.