What Is WCAG?

WCAG has been around since 1999, and adoption rates are now being mandated by governments around the globe to ensure accessibility for all.

Do I need to employ these requirements?

With much of the developed world now online, the demand is now for services which can be accessed from home, from their car, or in the palm of their hand.

With this sort of potential exposure, every online business or service, is competing for a share of the exposure.

In bid to get the latest technologies, and online services live, businesses often overlook accessibility for those people with disabilities.

What these businesses are missing out on, is a share of the 200 billion dollar year which people with disabilities bring.

Governments around the world have picked up on the increased isolation of people with disabilities, and laws and policy have been legislated to encourage and mandate compan
ies provide accessibility.
This government drive has advanced adoption of non-compliance by way of penalties for companies who fail to provide accessibility measures.

In the UK, the Equality Act, and Americas 508 Compliance laws, and Australias Disability Descrimination Act all are steps in furthering advancement of accessibility standar
ds, however, does little to advance awareness or, to keep pace with new technologies.

Applications and websites which employ accessibility standards create a good public perception of their products and, at times, create a point of difference between competi
ng vendors. This point of difference becomes quite a substantial financial benefit via increased sales as the reach extends to the 15 to 20 percent of people with disabilit
ies.

In providing accessibility options, usability also increases. With increased user experience, visitors to your website are more likely to return when they have had a smooth
transition through your site.

Likewise, search engines, which are basically blind users, will find navigating, and indexing, your site much easier and will boost SEO.

The key to getting accessibility right, is early adopotion. However, it is never too late to begin making changes in existing sites, which may have been put together quickl
y to go-live, or even have some accessibility features in place, and need further updates to ensure compliance with new standards.