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Web content Accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1)

Have you ever visited a website and found it difficult to navigate or access certain features.

For many people with disabilities, this is a common experience with the increasing importance of technology and the internet in our lives web accessibility is very important than ever to ensure that everyone has equal access to information and services online.

Here we will cover web accessibility guideline 2.1, where we will discuss what these guidelines

exactly cover and why is it important to adhere to them, as more businesses move their operation online.

it is important for web developers and designers to prioritize accessibility in their work and how is that achievable.

Agenda:
  • Overview of web accessibility wcag 2.1

  • Difference between WCAG 2.0 and 2.1

  • Key principals of wcag 2.1

  • Success criteria

  • Accessibility testing

  • Accessibility tools and resources

  • Legal and ethical considerations

  • Best practices of Web accessibility

  • Future development in web accessibility

  • Conclusion

Overview of WCAG 2.1

It is a set of guidelines created by the world wide web consortium (W3C) to help make web content more accessible for people with disability. the guidelines provide recommendations for designing and coding websites and web applications to ensure that they are perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for all users including those with disabilities. Some of the new criteria in WCAG 2.1 includes guidelines for mobile devices people with low vision and people with cognitive and learning disabilities.

adhering to the WCAG 2.1 guideline is very important because it can help ensure web content is accessible to the virus's possible audience including people with disabilities in many countries including the united states and the Europian union accessibility is also a legal requirement under disability discrimination laws.


Differences between WCAG 2.0 and 2.1

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines provide a set of standards for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities. the most recent version of these guidelines is WCAG 2.1 which was published in 2018 as an update to the previous version of WCAG 2.0.WCAG 2.1 has additional success criteria that address new emerging technologies that have become more prevalent since the release of 2.0

WCAG 2.1 specially addresses the new criteria for mobile accessibility, touchscreen functionality, and low-vision accessibility. In addition, to address emerging new and emerging technology WCAG 2.1 also includes updates to feedback from users and the accessibility community.WCAG 2.1 includes new success criteria providing users with more control over animation and motion effects as well as updates to the contrast requirements for text and images to make them more accessible to users with low vision. overall 2.0 remains a valuable resource for accessibility whereas 2.1 represents an important update that takes into account the changing landscape of the Web technology evolving needs of users with a disability.


Key Principle of WCAG:

The four principal of WCAG is perceivable, understandable, operable, and robust.

Perceivable means the web content must be able to be perceived by all users including those with disabilities.

  • operable means all users must operate the interface including those with disabilities.

  • understandable means web content must be presented in a way that can be understood by people with cognitive disabilities.

  • Robust means the Web content must be compatible with current and future agents including assistive technologies.

Success criteria:

Success criteria are the specific guidelines outlined in WCAG 2.1 that must be met Web content is accessible to everybody. success criteria are organized into three levels of performance.

  • A

  • AA

  • AAA

Each level has more strict requirements for accessibility. there are 78 success criteria in WCAG 2.1 each designed to address the accessibility issue that people with disability may face accessibility with the Web content. success criteria grouped into 13 guidelines and four key principles of Web accessibility.

perceivable, understandable, operable, and robust.

Each success criterion has a specific requirement that must be met to achieve compliance. For example, success criterion 1.1.1 requires that all nontext content,images , videos , and an audios have a text alternative that describes the content and serves the same purpose that meets the criterion. The text alternative should be provided with an alt attribute of image tags or a separate text description should be provided for video and audio.

Another example is success criterion 2.4.4 that links have a descriptive and unique name, this is important

for people with disability who use screen readers or other assistive technologies to navigate Web content.

If links are not labeled clearly people with disabilities might have difficulty in understanding where they lead, and what their purposes are. Meeting all success criteria of WCAG 2.1 compliance and meeting so can help to ensure the Web content is accessible to the widest possible audience including people with disabilities.

Moreover, some success criteria are more challenging to meet requirements and it may be required to collaboration between designers and developers to ensure that all criteria are met.


Accessibility Testing:

It is a process of evaluating a Web site or Web Application to ensure that it meets accessibility standards

and is usable by people with disabilities. Accessibility testing is to identify and fix any barriers that may prevent people with disabilities from accessing or using the website or application accessibility can be conducted manually or through automated tools.

Manual Testing involves assistive technologies such as screen readers and voice recognition software and keyboard-only navigation to evaluate the Web site or application. Manual Testing is often more thorough and accurate than automation testing Manual testing is time-consuming and required specialized skills.

Automation Testing requires automated tools to scan the website or application for accessibility issues. These tools can identify the issues of the missing alternative text for images improper heading structures inadequate color contrast automated. Automated testing is faster and more efficient but can produce false positives and miss certain types of accessibility issues.

There are several types of accessibility testing conducted, and those are starting with functionality testing,

Functionality testing evaluates the website or application is fully functional or usable by people with disabilities. This includes testing with addictive technologies to ensure that all interactive elements can be accessed and used, and all content is clear and understandable.

Usability testing evaluates the usability of the Website or application for people with disabilities.

This includes the navigation of sites layout of the site ease to use of interactive element such as forms and buttons.

Finally, compliance testing, testing evaluates the WCAG 2.1 success criteria and whether the Website or application meets the specific accessibility testing content accessibility guideline 2.1

This includes testing against each of the testing criteria outlined in the standards and identifying any areas where the website or application falls short.

In addition, it is also very important to conduct user testing on people with disabilities whether the website or applications are truly accessible and meets the needs of the user. User testing may help to identify the barriers or issues that may not be detected in another type of testing.


Accessibility tools and resources:

Many accessibility testing tools are available that help developer designers and testers to test their content against the WCAG 2.1 guidelines and meet the accessibility standards.

Accessibility Testing Tools:

These are software programs that automatically scan the web content for accessibility issues. some popular tools are the ax, weave, and Site Improve. these tools can quickly identify the issues.

Manual testing helps to identify the accessibility issues that may not be caught by automation testing. Manual experience testing uses additive technologies such as screen readers and keyboard-only navigation, and voice recognization software to simulate the experience of user disabilities.

Accessibility Checkers is a web-based tool that can evaluate web pages for accessibility issues. some popular accessibility checkers are Web Aims, Wave, and Checker. these tools can identify accessibility issues and provide suggestions on how to fix them.

Forth Web developer tools, are built-in tools for web browsers that can help developers or testers to test the content that meets the guidelines of WCAG 2.1.

For example, chrome's accessibility testing tool can stimulate the experience of a user with disabilities and provide information about accessibility issues on a web page.

Finally, Accessibility testing services, are third-party services that can perform accessibility testing on content. some of the important accessibility testing services are deck systems, level access, and accessible 360.

these services provide accessibility issues and give a suggestion on how to fix those issues.


Legal and Ethical consideration:

Web Accessibility has become a legal issue in many countries around the world. failure to comply with this regulation can result in legal action including fines with lawsuits,Ensuring that Web content is accessible for all users, regardless of their abilities is a matter of social responsibility and human rights.


Best practices for Web accessibility:

Providing alternative text for images:

Providing the alt text for images, Its a brief description of an image that is read by screen readers for people who cannot see the image providing alt text is essential for making images accessible to people who are blind and visually impaired.

Use Descriptive and concise link text:

Links should be descriptive and provide information about the destination of a link. Avoid using gendered phases like click here or read more as they do not provide any information about the link destination. instead use descriptive phrases like learning more about the services or downloading our browser.

Use heading and proper document structure:

Use headings to create a clear and logical structure for content on a Web page, this not only helps with navigation for all users but ensures that assistive technology by screen reader provides context to users with disability.

Ensure color contrast:

The low color contrast between text and background can make a difficult for users with low vision to read.

Ensure the text is easily readable by using high-contrast colors.

Make forms accessible:

The form should be designed with accessibility in mind including clear labels, properly labeled form fields, and user navigation using keyboard only.

Use accessible multimedia:

Audio and video content should be transcripted by caption and audio descriptions for people who are deaf

hard of hearing and blind.

Providing Keyboard accessibility:

Ensuring all content on the website can be accessed and navigated using a keyboard only is important for people who cannot use a mouse and other pointing devices.

Test for Accessibility:

Using Automated and manual testing methods to ensure all accessibility issues are covered and ensure compliance with WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

Future development in Web Accessibility: Web Accessibilityyears has come a long way in recent years but still so much work to be done.

Some of the future development:

Artificial intelligence and machine learning:

AI and ML have the potential to improve web accessibility by making websites and web applications more adaptive to individual user needs.

for example, AI can learn the preferences of individual users and understand the needs of disabilities and adjust the Website accordingly.

Visual Augmented Reality:

These technologies are becoming more popular but they also present new challenges for Web Accessibility.

Greater focus on mobile accessibility:

Mobile devices are becoming the primary way that people access the Web, so it is important that mobile apps and websites are people with disability this includes ensuring the content is optimized providing clear and concise navigation, and supporting keyboard-only navigation.

Improved accessibility for cognitive disability:

It is important for people with cognitive disability will focus on creating content that is easier to understand and navigate using plain language, simple design, and easy-to-use navigation.


Conclusion:

As technologies continue to evolve, it is essential that we remain committed to improving Web accessibility and building a more inclusive equitable Web for everyone.


























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