The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a set of guidelines which is used more and more often around the world to regulate web accessibility. While originally it has started out as a set of recommendations, several countries have adopted it as their web accessibility standards, and it has been made part of different legislations to follow.
The first set of guidelines, WCAG 1.0 was published in 1999 by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative. In December, 2008, due to the development of web technology and lessons learned from previous use, WCAG 2.0 was adopted.
In this tutorial, for the sake of simplicity, "WCAG" refers to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
While WCAG is widely used, it is not easy to find comprehensive tutorials on it. This tutorial is intended to fill this gap, and provide a useful tool for web designers, developers and testers.
This tutorial reviews the entire set of guidelines, offers suggestions on creating web sites which conform to these guidelines, and shows ways to determine if a web site is conformant with the guidelines. At the end of the tutorial, a list of tools are reviewed which will help you work with WCAG more efficiently.
While this tutorial intends to explain why the WCAG documentations are not as complex as they seem to be, please keep in mind that we can learn to navigate this documentation with ease. Also, it is still a large volume of documents, full of examples, and all possible scenarios.
This tutorial will not replicate all explanations, as they can be easily found in the WCAG documentation. Rather, I will concentrate on the most frequently encountered issues, which I found during my teaching and testing work to be problematic. Also, I will pay special attention to issues which I feel are not necessarily a problem area, but frequently appear when setting up a web site or a web application.