On December 11th, 2008, after 5 years of working, the W3C WAI released the WCAG 2.0 . They are an evolution of the WCAG 1.0, released on May 5th, 1999, that became a little bit obsolete due to technological advances. Despite this obsolescence, many laws still standed on these guidelines, so a new version was needed.
WCAG 2 follows the spirit of trying to bring a most accessible Web, but with some changes with the previous ones.
An innovation at the WCAG 2 respect to the WCAG 1 is the organization of the guidelines into principles. Accomplishing groups of guidelines you will success in a principle. The goal is to succeed in the 4 principles, as if any of them fails, users with disabilities will experience difficulties to use the website.
Remember the guidelines where divided into different success criteria? Nice. Those success criteria are classified into 3 levels.
- Single-A (A): the lowest
- Double-A (AA): the medium
- Triple-A (AAA): the highest
So, once you have tested the success criteria, you can state the conformance of your webpage into 3 levels:
- Level Single-A (A): your webpage satisfies all the Single-A (A) success criteria.
- Level Double-A (AA): your webpage satisfies all the Single-A (A) and Double-A (AA) success criteria.
- Level Triple-A (AAA): your webpage satisfies all the Single-A (A), Double-A (AA) and Triple-A (AAA) success criteria.
One interesting thing in WCAG 2 is that it specifies what type of material is subject to be certified as ok or not.
Imagine you have done a great job in designing your website. Now, it’s time for the users to add the content. But those users can be anyone, even outside of your organization, so you simply cannot be everywhere.
The WCAG 1.0 did not have any official way to audit the accessibility of the websites. This led to the creation of different non-official evaluation methodologies. For example, the European Union founded the Unified Web Evaluation Methodology or UWEM, which was never adapted to the new WCAG 2.