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Making Open Digital Projects More Accessible

This is a supplementary guide for the presentation "Making Open Digital Projects More Accessible," presented by Zoeanna Mayhook at the ACRL 2021 Virtual Conference.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

WCAG was developed by an International web standards group called the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)  and these guidelines have become the de facto standard for digital accessibility. Currently the most recent version is WCAG 2.1, but WCAG 2.2 is scheduled to be published sometime this year. A working draft of WCAG 2.2 is also currently available. 

WCAG provides guidelines and success criteria revolve around four basic principles: perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness.

  • Perceivability is concerned with whether information is consumable and visible to all users. So information should be displayed in different ways, such as providing text transcripts for audio or alt text for images.
  • Operability applies to whether users can effectively operate and navigate a website with a variety of tools. For example, providing proper headings or descriptive linking would help make webpages more compatible with screen readers and voice recognition software.
  • Understandable is concerned with whether operations and information are clear and concise. So here, descriptive instructions and unambiguous error messages would help make a page more understandable to users needing to complete a specified task
  • Robust when they can be used with a multitude of browsers, devices, and assistive technologies.

Please note that WCAG is not currently a required statute or regulation. 

Additional Resources