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There are multiple sets of guidelines and standards There are multiple sets of guidelines and standards for web accessibility. The most comprehensive of these is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The WCAG 1.0 includes fourteen guidelines, each of which is further clarified by specific checkpoints. There are a total of sixty-five checkpoints covering a comprehensive set of accessibility issues in web design. Each of these checkpoints is further qualified with a priority ranking, 1 through 3, priority 1 being highest (web content that fails a priority 1 checkpoint is totally inaccessible to one or more groups of users).
Another set of web accessibility standards is included in the Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, developed by the federal Access Board as required by 1998 amendments to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These standards closely parallel the Priority 1 checkpoints from WCAG 1.0, but the language has been modified with a focus on ensuring that the standards are measurable and enforceable.
Many states have issued web accessibility policies, either by adopting an existing set of standards or by developing their own, informed by the existing standards. Some state policies explicitly extend to educational entities within those states; others do not. However, many educational entities have developed their own web accessibility policies and/or guidelines. Most of this activity is occurring at the postsecondary level, but as K-12 entities are turning increasingly to the web for curriculum, administrative functions, and parent/community outreach, there is growing interest in web accessibility in K-12 environments as well.
The following AccessIT Knowledge Base articles may also be of interest:
For additional information, contact your region's ADA & IT Center at 1-800-949-4232.