Yes, the long awaited version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines was announced today! The news is being echoed all over Twitter, and our own SIG twitter account is chiming in.
Read the W3C press release for the official news. Then start following the discussions that have started and will continue in the coming days, weeks, and months. One place to start is the blog for the Opera Developer Network. A great post on that blog raises a good question: WCAG 2.0 is official – but is that all you need to make a site accessible? The author points out that
If you really want to make your site accessible then you need to not only reference the WCAG 2.0 guidelines but also:
- Use open web standards
- Avoid proprietary technologies
- Ensure your site validates where possible
Another useful article provides a comparison of the WCAG 1.0 checkpoints to the WCAG 2.0 checkpoints.
We keep saying it, and we’ll say it again – accessibility is great area for technical communicators. Where? How?
Now I hope that people will get behind WCAG 2.0, support it and adopt it. Over the last few years the community vetted and critiqued WCAG 2.0 drafts, and that resulted in vast improvements. Now WCAG 2.0 is done; it’s time to move on (and shift that attention to related work on the WCAG 2.0 supporting technical material and educational material, exciting developments with WAI-ARIA for accessible rich web applications, and the importance of authoring tool accessibility).
Several STC members have participated in W3C work groups or in other ways contributed to work at W3C, home of the World Wide Web Consortium. Our own Lisa Pappas is one of the editors for the WAI-ARIA guidelines.
Your participation can start with spreading the word about accessibility, web standards, validation, and all those goodies that technical communicators should be practicing and preaching.
Participate in discussions on the internet about WCAG 2.0 – you can start in the comments section here!