by Andrew Kirkpatrick, Group Product Manager, Accessibility
The W3C has moved the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 to Last Call. This is the last call for public comment, so if you choose you can submit any comments on the draft by February 1, 2008. The draft is available at http://www.w3.org/TR/2007/WD-WCAG20-20071211/.
I think that it is worth considering two things as you read this document.
1. This document is more complex than WCAG 1.0 because the web is more complex. WCAG 2.0 needs to address accessibility challenges for the web that is being developed today, with dynamic content and Flash and PDF and Flex and AIR and Java and Silverlight (and on and on). Please read with the whole of the web in mind.
2. This draft has received significant attention related to harmonization with the U.S. Section 508 standards in development, the ISO accessibility guidelines, and the Japanese Industrial Standards. Take a look at the latest draft of the Section 508 standards at http://teitac.org/wiki/EWG:Draft_Nov_27 and compare. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one set of standards to attend to? I think so.
I don’t feel that this draft is perfect, but think that it is an excellent document that we can use to improve accessibility moving forward. if you pick any two people interested in accessibility they will not fully agree on all the points in WCAG 2.0 but I think that you’ll find that the issues in dispute tend to be edge cases.
I’ve been on the WCAG group for the past several months and there has been a lot of hard work put in during this time processing hundreds of comments. Please comment on this draft and let’s get this one finished!