Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Before having the first lecture there are already quite a large number of things that can be explored simply browsing Andy’s web.

You may notice that there are a number of small icons on the bottom of Andy’s course web. Saying W3C XHTML, W3C CSS, W3C WCAG, BOBBY 508 and BOBBY AAA.

For the first two, I guess is quite familiar to many people. They are the standards posted by W3C. (World Wide Web Consortium) Using the validators provided by them, (HTML validator and CSS validator) anyone can check whether their web page fullfill the requirements of the standards. If it is a success, they can place this icon on their web.

But how about WCAG, 508 and Bobby??

Due to my curiosity, I have made some search on W3C. Actually WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is a guideline which will make a website more accessible. (WCAG 1.0) Section 508 is something similar to WCAG but written in US Federal law.WCAG have a total of 3 accessibility compliance, A, AA and AAA. (where AAA is the best and of course the hardest to achieve) Although W3C do not provide any automated WCAG checker, we can still check it through WebXACT. (WebXACT) I guess the former name is Bobby but now changed. However even WebXACT can not do all the testing inside the guideline, because some of them are not coding related, e.g. color matching.

Although it is hard to acheive all these standards, I think as a web designer we should try our best to do at least most of these. This improves not only the speed of loading the page but also helping our visitors to browse.