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WCAG 2.1 is here – what’s in it for you?

WCAG 2.1 has now been published. Many people are talking about what’s in it. But the more important question is: what’s in it for you? Here’s a background to why we needed a new accessibility standard, what we recommend organisations should do about moving to it, and some hints and tips from our experience of helping our clients use it so far…

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5 accessibility tests you can do in 5 minutes

Accessibility testing is a specialist skill. However, just because there are tests that require detailed knowledge and tools or expensive assistive technology, it doesn’t mean that it can only be done by experts. There are several a11y tests which can be done by anyone, in quite a short time without requiring any specialist knowledge. Importantly, they also do not require that you to have access to any specialist tools. Here’s 5 you can do in 5 minutes…

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Does web accessibility really “place ruinous obligations on websites”? – analysis of Internet Association brief

Last week a brief filed by the Internet Association, which represents Google, Amazon, Facebook, AOL and eBay, stated “Applying the ADA to all Web sites may place uncertain, conflicting, burdensome, and possibly ruinous obligations on (our) members.” As many of those member websites include accessibility statements that tell a very different story, Jonathan Hassell asks why such overblown statements are made, what scares website owners about the link between WCAG 2.0 and disability discrimination laws, and whether standards like BS 8878 that advocate an approach based on ‘reasonable accommodations’ may help lower anxiety and restore sense in the debate around accessibility cost-benefits…

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The future of WCAG – maximising its strengths not its weaknesses

2012 was a year of real ups and downs for the de-facto Standard for accessibility, WCAG 2.0. It’s finally become ratified as an international Standard. It’s been included in legislation in Europe, Canada and the USA. At the same time it’s also had its value questioned by academic research, and the achievability of its AAA level questioned by some voices in the accessibility community. Calls for it to be updated are becoming louder and louder. And frameworks like BS 8878, in which WCAG 2.0 can be more successfully integrated with the practicalities of real-world web product development, are gaining support in the commercial and academic worlds. So, with the growing movement for WCAG 2.0 to replace national standards and thus harmonise accessibility standards globally, it’s a good time to summarise WCAG 2.0’s strengths and weaknesses, what strengths other national standards have that it may lack, and what will be needed to make it a much better ‘harmonised Standard’ for the future…

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Web accessibility myths 2011 – a call for accessibility advocates to be more business-minded

It’s the time of year when web accessibility advocates tend to produce accessibility myths blogs. As nothing stays still on the web, and many of these blogs are rather old, it’s important that our understanding of accessibility myths moves on to.
So, here’s Part One of some accessibility myths I’d like to expose to clear out the cobwebs before 2012. My aim is to challenge some of the accepted assumptions many accessibility advocates hold which I believe are really not serving us, or the disabled and elderly people we are trying to help, well at all.
Being demolished this time: What disabled and elderly people need is accessibility; What website creators need is WCAG 2.0; The best business case for accessibility is the Law; Accessibility is cheap… no, it’s expensive… no, it’s cheap…; We won’t get enough Return on Investment; and If you build it (to be accessible) then they’ll come…

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