Last Call Working Draft of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

A Last Call Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) as well as two supporting documents were published 27 April 2006. W3C strongly encourages broad community review of this Last Call Working Draft, and submission of comments on any issues which you feel could present a significant barrier to future adoption and implementation of WCAG 2.0.

(Note that only the WCAG 2.0 is in Last Call and only the WCAG 2.0 will become a Recommendation. Understanding WCAG 2.0 and Techniques for WCAG 2.0 are being developed to support WCAG 2.0, and will be released as Working Group Notes when WCAG 2.0 becomes a Recommendation.)

In particular, we encourage you to comment on the conformance model and success criteria. Reviewers are encouraged to provide suggestions for how to address issues as well as positive feedback, and commitments to implement the guidelines. This message contains information on the documents and how to comment.

Comments should be received on or before 31 May 2006. Comments should be made in one of four formats:

  • online form,
  • downloadable excel form,
  • downloadable html form, or
  • downloadable text form.

Instructions and downloadable files for comments on WCAG 2.0 Last Call Working Draft.

WCAG 2.0 addresses accessibility of Web content for people with disabilities. It will apply to a wider range of Web technologies than WCAG 1.0, and is intended to be understandable to a wider audience.

Note: Until WCAG 2.0 becomes a W3C Recommendation, WCAG 1.0 will continue to be the current and stable document to use. Most Web sites that conform to WCAG 1.0 should not require significant changes in order to conform to WCAG 2.0, and may not need any changes.

This 27 April 2006 release of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 is a Last Call Working Draft by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (part of the Web Accessibility Initiative). Publication as a Last Call Working Draft indicates that the WCAG WG believes it has addressed all substantive issues and that the document is stable (see below for more information on subsequent stages). The first public Working Draft of WCAG 2.0 was published 25 January 2001. Since then, the WCAG WG has published nine Working Drafts, addressed more than 1,000 issues, and developed a variety of supporting resources for the guidelines.

A good place to start a review of WCAG 2.0 is with the Overview of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 documents. The Overview explains the relationships between WCAG 2.0 and the supporting documents, and links to the current version of each document.

The documents published on 27 April 2006:

The WCAG WG believes that after Last Call, WCAG 2.0 will be ready to move on to the remaining stages of the W3C Recommendation Track Process:

  • Candidate Recommendation - when the WCAG WG will collect implementation experience on use of WCAG 2.0 to design and evaluate Web content for accessibility;
  • Proposed Recommendation - when W3C will seek endorsement of the specification from W3C Member organizations;
  • Recommendation - when WCAG 2.0 will be published by W3C as a technical report appropriate for widespread deployment and the promotion of W3C’s mission.

Note that the WCAG WG will start collecting implementation examples early in the Last Call review period. Please visit the WAI home page for more information.

Filed under: Accessibility
Posted by Patrick H. Lauke on Friday, April 28, 2006

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