Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) involves four prominent principles that state that online content has to be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. WCAG is the most extensively used and referenced set of standards in the industry, and is considered to be the best way to achieve online accessibility. AccessiBe offers solutions powered by artificial technologies, which can help in making websites compliant with the WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards.
AccessiBe underlines the four prime web accessibility principles
Accessibility is an expansive topic that ranges from certain abstract legal rulings to specific coding guidelines. But on the whole, it plays an important role in improving the performance of a website. The following pointers provide a better understanding of the four major web accessibility principles:
- Perceivable: Starting from the most basic level, one must try to make sure that anyone visiting their website is able to process any information featured there. Information and user interface components at a website must be presented in a manner that can be perceived by the online users. This means that they should be able to adequately comprehend the information being depicted. For this purpose, a website needs to add subtitles to videos for those who cannot hear, and create content that can be presented in different ways without losing form and structure. Making a website perceivable doesn’t necessarily mean that audio should be created for all the text on the website, but the content must be consumable by assistive technologies like screen readers.
- Operable: People with disabilities should be able to operate websites and apps with a range of assistive tools. Many people with disabilities cannot operate a mouse, and therefore alternative keyboard-based operation must be implemented. In order to assist users with cognitive disabilities to operate a website, media and animations must be controllable, and time limits for completing a certain action should be configurable or generous. Websites should also provide clear instructions, warnings, and cancellation options to help discerning users.
- Understandable: Even if a user can perceive and operate a website, it does not always mean that they can understand it. Understandable websites feature concise and clear language that is easy to comprehend. In case the user takes an action, the connection between the action and its results must be obvious. There must additionally be a level of consistency in navigation across the website. Forms must follow a logical flow, while providing very clear labels. If the user has to go through a certain process, such as a checkout, adequate guidance must be provided.
- Robust: Content has to be robust enough to be interpreted dependably by multiple types of user agents, including assistive technologies. Diverse users use distinguished technologies and devices. Hence, websites must work properly across varying browsers, platforms, and devices to account for the needs of the users and their personal choice. If a site dictates supported technology platforms, they invariably restrict access for any non-conforming user. Clean code is known to be more consumable and robust across platforms.
Creating a highly accessible website is important for all, and the principles underlined above are the pathway to doing so. AccessiBe is a technology company that offers web accessibility software for people with disabilities. They can help businesses to develop websites that are compatible with the important accessibility principles.