WCAG (or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a series of guidelines that makes websites and apps more accessible. These guidelines seek to make the web more accessible for people with disabilities (especially auditory and visual) and people browsing the Internet using limited devices (e.g. mobile phones with limited functionality). Implementation on Government sites is common, whereas in the wider commercial sector WCAG is considered something of an afterthought rather than a day-one project consideration.
Change is one of the few constants in the world of software testing. An organisation’s ability to stay on the front foot and adapt to evolving development environments and consumer expectations has implications that stretch far beyond the IT department.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines provide a series of recommendations for making websites more accessible. The purpose is to ensure that people who are physically challenged or who have cognitive or learning disabilities can access web content on an equal footing with everyone else. The WCAG guidelines also improve usability in general and promote a quality web experience.
Generally, web site accessibility is governed by guidelines put forward by the World Wide Web Consortium, sometimes known as the W3C. And then there are some governments that put forth accessibility guidelines. However, there are certain principles that exist regardless of the regulations. If these principles are known then it is fairly easy to know what you should be testing for.
Accessibility is the concept of ensuring that everyone can equally use a particular digital asset, whether it is a website or an application. It is more than just making sure that people who are physically challenged have equal access. True accessibility benefits everybody. It benefits both the user and the developer by providing access to digital resources in multiple ways. And the path to accessibility lies in the understanding of universal design.
People have various needs and many have unique physical challenges. This makes creating fully accessible digital products a challenge in itself. Consequently, universal accessibility should be treated as a goal to be reached, rather than just another item on the list of requirements.
The Internet has changed the pattern of communication worldwide. It is a cultural shift as profound as any in history. We are experiencing the dawn of an era that has the potential to be either the most liberating or the most tyrannical the human race has ever experienced.