WCAG 2.1 follows the WCAG 2.0 guidelines that have been the standard for website accessibility. The content listed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines covers a wide range of things to consider when making web content more accessible.

WCAG 2.1 extends Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 [WCAG20], which was published as a W3C Recommendation in December 2008. In the intervening years, web accessibility grew greatly as a topic of both need within the digital community and as a federally mandated requirement of websites associated with federal programs.

WCAG 2.1 builds upon the foundation of 2.0 guidelines in the sense that web content that conforms to WCAG 2.1 also conforms to WCAG 2.0. The creators of the guidelines say that “While WCAG 2.0 remains a W3C Recommendation, the W3C advises the use of WCAG 2.1 to maximize future applicability of accessibility efforts. The W3C also encourages use of the most current version of WCAG when developing or updating Web accessibility policies.”

WCAG 2.1 adds new success criteria, definitions to support them, guidelines to organize the additions, and a couple additions to the conformance section. The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group recommends that sites adopt WCAG 2.1 as their new conformance target, even if formal obligations mention WCAG 2.0, to provide improved accessibility and to anticipate future policy changes.
The following Success Criteria are new in WCAG 2.1 (there are three levels of complaince, A, AA and AAA, which are represented in parentheses):

1.3.4 Orientation (AA)
1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose (AA)
1.3.6 Identify Purpose (AAA)
1.4.10 Reflow (AA)
1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast (AA)
1.4.12 Text Spacing (AA)
1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus (AA)
2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts (A)
2.2.6 Timeouts (AAA)
2.3.3 Animation from Interactions (AAA)
2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (A)
2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation (A)
2.5.3 Label in Name (A)
2.5.4 Motion Actuation (A)
2.5.5 Target Size (AAA)
2.5.6 Concurrent Input Mechanisms (AAA)
4.1.3 Status Messages (AA)

These guidelines and the technical language that they are written in is confusing for most people. That’s why we recommend that you
hire agencies who are experienced in working with these guidelines. The creators of ADA Plugin have experience with the guidelines since the first version. The ADA Plugin is always updated whenever there are big changes, so you can know that by using it you are doing two key things: Providing an accessible website to the world, and protecting yourself and your business from lawsuits. Get in touch to learn more!

People are talking about website accessibility using the phrase “Section 508 standards.”

Section 508 is an umbrella term for a section with parts and subparts related to the implementation of Section 508 Standards.

The full text of Section 508 is made up of Parts A, B, C, D, E, F and G. These cover requirements, standards, reporting, and evaluations. Each of the seven articles of Section 508 standards is a set of individual technical provisions. Each sub-article specifies particular technical requirements for accessibility.

These are quite detailed and specific. The website’s accessibility compliance officer must ensure they are meeting each standard to a “T”. Article 1194,22, which governs “Web based intranet and Internet information and applications,” has 16 sub-sections. Each subsection has detailed explanations of the technical issue they are covering.

What are the Section 508 Standards?

For instance, 1194.22 (h) is called, “Markup shall be used to associate data cells and header cells for data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers.”

What this means is that the accessibility compliance officer must check all data tables used to present information. The web source code must be evaluated to determine if rows and column headers are associated with each data cell in the table.

Combing through these standards is a time consuming and tedious process. The end goal is a website that meets Section 508 standards. There is a better way for your employees to spend their time. That is where ADA Plugin comes in.

ADA Plugin works on WordPress sites. It scans the content for items that fit the description of the technical issues needed to meet Section 508 standards. The scan runs through all media files and collects a list of items to use later. The plugin scans “objects” that need to be compliant. It does this in eight different parts: files, tables, image tags, iframes, videos, audio, objects, embeds, and forms.

After the scans are complete and the intermediate steps are completed, the user receives a checklist for all of the Section 508 standards. The user simply checks a box to say, “I agree that this website meets this requirement”. This once again links to the guidelines. The guidelines offer easier to read explanations that are tailored to WordPress.

Once the user completes the form for the final step, their WordPress website is considered compliant to the Section 508 standards. The scheduling system will create a new scan, scheduled in the future. This assures the Section 508 standards are met on future content that might be added to the website.