The WCAG was founded through W3C, which itself was founded in 1994 by an international community of organizations, staff, and the public. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative is aimed at developing a common set of website accessibility standards for internet users.
What are the different WCAG levels A, AA, and AAA?
WCAG A — Level A is the most basic level of accessibility conformance and includes 3/5ths of the legal requirements. There are 30 success criteria in WCAG 2.1 A.
WCAG AA — Level AA is the second level of conformance. There are 20 success criteria in WCAG 2.1 AA. The ADA and Section 508 standards require both Level A (30 success criteria) and Level AA (20 success criteria).
WCAG AAA — Level AAA is the third and most advanced level of conformance. There are 28 success criteria in WCAG 2.1 AAA.
Level A Checklist(Few Of them)
Provide a “Skip to Content” link
Helpful and clear page title
Every link’s purpose is clear from its context
Users can perform touch functions with assistive technology or one finger
The name contains the text that is presented visually
Functions that are trigged by moving a device or by gesturing towards a device can also be operated by more conventional user interface components
Page has a language assigned
Elements do not change when they receive focus
Clearly identify input errors
Label elements and give instructions
Level AA Checklist(Few Of them)
Live videos have captions
Users have access to audio description for video content
High contrast between pieces of text and their backgrounds
Ensuring content visible on hover or keyboard focus does not lead to accessibility issues
Don’t use images of text
Text can be resized to 200% without loss of content or function
Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1
Ensure common names are provided using the HTML autocomplete list
Use clear headings and labels
Reduce the risk of input errors for sensitive data
Distances between paragraphs, rows, words and characters must be able to be increased to a certain value
Level AAA Checklist(Few Of them)
Provide sign language translations for videos
Provide extended audio description for videos
Anticipates the release of cognitive metadata to be used with assistive technology to simply interfaces
Save user data when re-authenticating
Users need to be warned of the duration of any inactivity that could cause data loss
Accessible by keyboard only, without exception
Provide detailed help and instructions
Motion animation triggered by interaction can be disabled
Explain any abbreviations
The size of the target for pointer inputs is at least 44 x 44 CSS pixels
Users with nine years of school can read your content
What is ADA?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), passed in 1990, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of their disabilities. It works towards a simple goal — ensuring that people with disabilities get the same opportunities and rights as everyone else.
Section 508 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act, and hence, a federal law.
As per the law, any technology is considered to be accessible if people with disabilities can use it with the same effectiveness and ease as people without.
Difference Between WCAG, Section 508 and ADA
The key difference between WCAG, Section 508, and ADA lies in how they prioritize different aspects of web operations vis-à-vis compliance toward a more accessible digital space. In some cases, the WCAG has more stringent standards, in some others, it could be Section 508 or the ADA.