What is WCAG?

Cormac Chisholm(opens in a new Tab)

May 3rd, 2022


3 min read


Welcome back. It’s time for our first lesson! Today’s lesson is going to cover these topics:

So let’s dive right into it.

Link to this headingWhat is WCAG?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, are global standards describing how to make web products more accessible to people with disabilities. The most recent version of these guidelines are WCAG 2.1. opens in a new tabThis link opens in a new tab

Now, this list of guidelines is quite large and can be a bit overwhelming when starting out, which is one of the reasons I created this "Bitesized Web Accessibility" course. So, before we get started learning any individual web accessibility guidelines its important to first be familiar with the following four principles of P.O.U.R:

Link to this headingWhat is P.O.U.R.?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are organized around the following four principles: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust. In order for the web to wors to use the Web must have content that is. If any of these are not true, users with disabilities will not be able to use the Web.

  1. Perceivable - The information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. For example this can have implications on how you implement color and contrast.
  2. Operable - User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform. For example web content should be fully accessible through keyboard interactions.
  3. Understandable - Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. For example it user interface components should have predictable and consistent operations.
  4. Robust - Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This means that as a developer you should maximize compatibility with browsers and user tools.

Hopefully that wasn't too much to start. Don't worry if it don't completely understand at this point. Our goal over the coming weeks is to provide you with clear and important examples of how you can apply this guidelines and how they tie back to these principles. Congrats on getting to the end of lesson 1. We'll be back next week with a deeper dive into one of WCAG guidelines. Until then,

  • Cormac

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