WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a set of international standards for making content on the internet accessible to people with disabilities, ranging from visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological. WCAG compliance helps to provide a standardized way of measuring the accessibility of a website. It also ensures that websites and web applications can be used by people with disabilities.
WCAG and accessibility is not a “certification” or state which can be achieved and then ignored going forward. Accessibility, like cybersecurity, is an ongoing pursuit that requires attention and maintenance as content and Website features evolve.
Section 508 is part of a 1998 amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to those with disabilities. Becoming Section 508 compliant ensures that those who with various disabilities can access this technology and information, or are provided with an accessible alternative.
Why WCAG and Section 508 Compliance is Important
WCAG is important because they set a standard for making web content more easily available to those with disabilities. There are several benefits with having a locator accessible with WCAG. Firstly, it can improve the overall user experience. By creating a more user friendly locator with accessibility for users with disabilities, this can enhance the experience for those users, creating a better overall product for a wider range of customers. The better usability creates a more intuitive interface for all visitors, not just those with disabilities.
A practical use for becoming WCAG compliant is the improved SEO (search engine optimization) opportunities. Sites that follow WCAG guidelines are more easily indexed by search engines, such as Google, allowing them to be found by a wider range of users.
Legal compliance is another benefit of following WCAG guidelines. These guidelines are oftentimes used as a benchmark for legal compliance with accessibility laws, such as the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
This legal compliance has other benefits such as an improved brand image. By following the WCAG guidelines and being compliant with them, a brand is showing to its audience that it not only cares about accessibility and inclusivity, but that it is dedicated to it.
WCAG and Section 508 Compliance
The locators produced through MetaLocator are accessible to WCAG AA standards off the shelf, this makes them more cost effective, rather than building your own locator and having to retro-fit it to be WCAG compliant. MetaLocator is also 508 compliant off the shelf.
MetaLocator makes it easy to make sure that locators are compliant, even as changes are needed to stay compliant to WCAG and 508.
To learn more about MetaLocator’s compliance with WCAG and Section 508, see the support article.