What are Web Accessibility Guidelines?
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) represent a set of standards and guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) via their Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).
These guidelines offer a framework for making online content more accessible to people with different kinds of disabilities. The goal? Protecting human rights. Reducing discrimination against people with disabilities. Eliminating communication barriers.
Complying with Web Accessibility Guidelines is not optional anymore. Many regulations have been introduced, binding accessibility targets that businesses should meet. One of them is the European Accessibility Act (EAA), which will enter into force on 28 June 2025.
The key principles of web content accessibility
Both content and user interface components should be presented in a way that users can easily understand and perceive. For example, this includes providing text alternatives to images and videos, captions for multimedia, and adaptable content.
All users should be able to effortlessly browse the website and interact with it, using different input methods. That involves various factors, including keyboard accessibility, simple navigation, and providing users with sufficient time to read content and complete tasks.
The UI should be clear and intuitive. That involves providing readable and predictable navigation, input assistance, and the reduction of any content or elements that may cause confusion.
Websites should be designed to be compatible with different devices and formats, assistive technologies. This principle focuses on the highest compatibility with various browsers and devices.
The AA web accessibility standard
Web Accessibility Guidelines are divided into three groups, each building upon the previous one.
- Level A represents the minimum accessibility requirement for all websites.
- Level AA is a higher level of web accessibility and the standard for accessibility compliance.
- Level AAA represents the highest level of accessibility and might not be necessary for all websites.
While level A is easily achievable, the AA standard means that your website has implemented a higher level of accessibility features. The result? Making content even more perceivable, operable, and understandable, as well as enhancing the overall browsing experience of diverse audiences.
The AA accessibility services we offer
New software development and compliance consulting
Existing software analysis and compliance consulting
Reimplementing the AA standard-compliant solution
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AA web content accessibility - FAQ
Introduced by the World Wide Web Consortium, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops standards and support materials to help you understand and implement accessibility.
Legal requirements. Your target audience. The content type. Resources available to your organization. Those are just some factors that impact what accessibility standards you should comply with.
WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, and WCAG 2.2 are the latest accessibility standards set by WAI. They are built around the four criteria mentioned above – perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness.
There are three levels of web accessibility standards:
- A is obligatory
- AA is a higher standard – the norm most commercial websites are striving for
- AAA is the highest level of web accessibility
In addition to the WCAG standard that is applicable to all countries, each country also has its own set of accessibility regulations – for both private and public sectors – that need to be met. When building your accessibility strategy, we take all those factors into account.
In certain industries, such as HealthTech or EdTech, companies are even legally required to comply with certain accessibility standards. On the other hand, some organizations just need to meet the minimal requirements to ensure inclusivity and provide the best user experience for everyone.
From co-creating digital solutions for companies in highly regulated sectors to collaborating with digital agencies to create WCAG-compliant solutions for their end clients, we deliver custom-made web accessibility solutions across various industries.
In the best-case scenario, you should have a web content accessibility strategy upfront and implement it when building your website from scratch. Of course, if you already have a website or any kind of digital product, we will assess it against your desired accessibility standard and pinpoint the areas that require improvement.
If you do not meet at least the basic web accessibility requirements, you may face lawsuits and pay hefty fines. Many global giants, including Nike, Amazon, and The Wall Street Journal, have been already accused of not being accessible to people with disabilities.
The European Accessibility Act is the EU law that demands some everyday products and services to be accessible for persons with disabilities.