Web Accessibility Initiative

The Web Accessibility Initiative ( WAI ) is an area within the W3C, in the employ several working groups and stakeholders with the barrier-free access to the Web and its contents.

The WAI, which was founded in 1997, has the goal of making the World Wide Web to as many people as possible. This includes people with different disabilities and the elderly. Since the accessibility of web content depends on several factors, the W3C has published since 1999 under the initiative several standards:

  • In the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines ( WCAG) 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 requirements for both the website programming and architectures for content, layout principles and technology use are provided.
  • In the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines ( ATAG ) demands on the tools for website creation.
  • In the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines ( UAAG ) requirements on browsers and media players.
  • WAI -ARIA is a specification for metadata and mechanisms to widgets and web applications for users to make assistive technologies available.


The guidelines for accessible page design of the W3C WAI WCAG 1.0 were considered fundamental standard on which many constructions supplementary guidelines, such as Section 508 in the U.S. and the barrier -free information technology (BITV ) in Germany.

The European Council in Feira in 2000 " Action Plan e -Europe 2002 " concluded that public web sites in Europe to meet the WCAG criteria until 1 January 2008.

WCAG 1.0: The main points

To ensure compliance with WCAG 1.0 standards are required, especially the following fourteen points:

WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 was published on 11 December 2008 as a W3C Recommendation. While the WCAG 1.0 were strongly tied to HTML and CSS, and therefore no longer corresponded to the state of the art after a few years, the WCAG 2.0 have to be the goal, regardless of specific technologies.

The guidelines are grouped into four principles:

  • Recognizable (eg visual content need a text alternative )
  • Operable (especially keyboard operation )
  • Understandable
  • Robust ( compatibility )

The WCAG Working Group has also provided supporting materials are available:

  • A customizable quick reference: " How to WCAG 2.0 fulfilled"
  • Understand WCAG 2.0
  • Techniques for WCAC 2.0