Don't forget the 'C' in WCAG - a resolution for the new year

With the likely adoption of WCAG 2.0 (the second version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) in Australia, organisations might be reviewing their website design and templates to meet the new standards in 2010. What they might forget though, is to check their content or update the skills of those who produce it.

Lack of knowledge around content production and accessibility

In my experience:

  • many web writers have little understanding of web accessibility
  • some have heard of 'alt tags' but few know how to write them or what they are for
  • organisations are not aware of the impact writers and publishers can have on accessibility
  • web writers rarely get training in web accessibility.

Content management systems do not prevent accessibility problems

Even within a tightly controlled environment such as a content management system, writers can affect compliance with the new guidelines. There are 19 WCAG 2.0 'success criteria' that a site may fail if those who write the content are not trained in accessibility.

Make a resolution to address this issue in 2010

Do your organisation, writers and users a favour. Make a new year's resolution to address this issue. To help you get started, I've attached a presentation I gave on this topic at the OZeWAI conference in Melbourne a few weeks ago. Let me know if you have any queries.

In the meantime ... Happy New Year!