WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)

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Frequently asked questions

Is WCAG a legal requirement?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are not a law. However, some laws, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the AODA explicitly cite WCAG conformance as an accessibility requirement. Furthermore, the Department of Justice has referenced WCAG standards in its web accessibility enforcement actions. WCAG is considered the global gold standard for web accessibility, so even though WCAG conformance is not a law, following WCAG standards is the most effective way to achieve web accessibility and comply with certain legal mandates.

What is WCAG compliance?

Because WCAG itself is not a law, “WCAG compliance” is technically an incorrect term. Aligning with WCAG standards is referred to as WCAG conformance. WCAG is considered the global gold standard for web accessibility, and some laws cite it explicitly as a guideline for making web content accessible. Consequently, conformance with WCAG will help comply with legal mandates.

Does WCAG apply to mobile apps?

WCAG provides a comprehensive set of criteria for accessible digital content. It was originally created for HTML-based experiences, but adhering to WCAG success criteria is also the best-practice for all types of digital experiences, including mobile apps. Specifically, WCAG 2.1 includes criteria for tablets and mobile devices.