Technologies

One of the key differences between the first and the second version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) was that WCAG 2.0 was designed to be technology agnostic. WCAG 2.0 is organised around design principles and has testable success criteria, but the success criteria are not specific to any particularly technology.

The reason behind this is simple – technologies changes, often rapidly. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative recognised that, and separated the what (what you need to do in order for a website to be accessible) from the how (how you make a website accessible).

The Web Accessibility Initiative support web professionals through Introduction to Techniques for WCAG 2.0, a suite of technology specific documents which focus on specific authoring practices and example. These include techniques for HTML and XHTML, CSS, WAI-ARIA and  Flash among others.

Although HTML 5 is still in draft form, the accessibility community is already talking about the access implication of HTML5 such as the new <video> tag.

WAI-ARIA is the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite is W3C Candidate Recommendation that essentially makes web content and web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It acts as a bridge  between the web content and the assistive technology, enabling the two exchange messages more easily.

Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are both multimedia platforms used to create rich multimedia content. It is important that content created using either of these technologies meet the success criteria outline in WCAG 2.0.


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