The Critical Role of WCAG in Digital Accessibility: Key Takeaways from Sarah Stricker’s Webinar

Insights from Sarah Stricker’s Webinar: All About WCAG Accessibility And What's Next

Sarah Stricker is an experienced Instructional Technologist at ansrsource and a certified Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS) from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). She was the speaker at the “All About WCAG Accessibility And What’s Next” webinar hosted by Continual Engine.
As the webinar speaker, Sarah shared valuable insights and expertise on the critical role that accessibility plays in building a better and more equitable world. Her passion for accessibility was evident throughout the webinar, as she discussed the importance of complying with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and applying usability principles to provide the best user experience. Sarah’s in-depth knowledge of WCAG and her practical approach to accessibility made the webinar an enriching experience for attendees, inspiring them to work towards a more inclusive digital world. We were thrilled to have Sarah as our webinar speaker and look forward to her future contributions to the field.

Here are the key takeaways from this webinar:

The Role of WCAG and W3C in Digital Accessibility

WCAG is the international standard for digital accessibility developed by the W3C. This international organization sets web standards to ensure that the web remains open, accessible, internationalized, secure, and interoperable for everyone around the globe. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are organized around four general principles, stating that web content should be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust (POUR). The W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is responsible for several resources that help make the internet more accessible, including WAI-ARIA and WCAG.

Usability Principles and Compliance Levels

Compliance with WCAG success criteria is an important measure of accessibility, but not the only measure. Designers and developers should apply the usability principles of WCAG to their designs as much as possible to ensure the best user experience for all users. Compliance levels refer to the level of necessity to conform to success criteria, and there are three levels: A, AA, and AAA. AA-conformance is the most common level of conformance for accessibility laws that refer to WCAG, and many countries use WCAG in their accessibility laws. Federal government organizations or organizations that work with the government in the US must ensure that their digital content is at least WCAG 2.0 AA compliant.

Accessibility Checkers, Automated Testing, and Manual Testing

Content authoring tools typically have an accessibility statement and a VPAT available, which can provide information on the tool’s compliance with WCAG. It is crucial to ensure that all content added to the authoring tool is accessible before adding it. Automated accessibility checkers can be helpful, but they may not catch all issues, so manual testing is also essential.

WCAG Compliance and Future Requirements

While the 2.2 Guidelines may not yet be legal requirements, they are methods that can be used to improve accessibility and prepare for 2.2 compliance requirements. Steps to comply with WCAG 2.2 include avoiding drag-and-drop functionality or providing a single-click alternative, ensuring sufficient area between buttons or clickable areas, consistently locating help features across all pages, avoiding cognitive tests for password authentication by providing an alternative method, and programming form fields to fill in repeated fields automatically. Organizations should keep watching for changes in the criteria, submit feedback, and prepare for future compliance requirements.
Watch the recording of the webinar, or download the presentation for detailed information on the webinar.

Continual Engine as Your Accessibility Partner

Continual Engine is a leading provider of artificial intelligence technology solutions for accessibility and transforming the learning experience. By using cutting-edge AI technologies such as automation, deep learning, machine learning, computer vision and natural language processing, Continual Engine delivers high-quality services that meet the most stringent accessibility standards.

Our AI-powered image alt-text authoring and PDF remediation services are designed to help organizations create accessible content faster and more cost-effectively. Our proprietary tool, PREP, enables the remediation of large volumes of pages at unparalleled speed, while our panel of highly qualified SMEs ensures the highest accuracy and compliance. Invicta™, an award-winning, proprietary platform, generates high-quality alt-text descriptions for complex STEM images and automatically tags print PDF and ePub content, making them compatible with JAWS and VoiceOver screen readers.

Whether you must comply with accessibility standards like WCAG, ADA, or Section 508 or want to make your content more inclusive and accessible, Continual Engine has the expertise and technology to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today for a free pilot or quote, and discover how our solutions can transform your content accessibility needs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the WCAG guidelines are critical to creating an accessible web, and compliance with them is essential. However, designers and developers should also apply the usability principles of WCAG to their designs as much as possible to ensure the best user experience for all users. Accessibility checkers and manual testing can help organizations achieve compliance with WCAG. Additionally, organizations should prepare for future compliance requirements and continue to watch for changes in the criteria. By prioritizing accessibility and implementing WCAG guidelines, we can work towards a better and more equitable world.

Editors:

Debangku Sarma

Digital Marketing Associate
Continual Engine

Vijayshree Vethantham

Senior Vice-President, Growth & Strategy
Continual Engine US LLC

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