Making Accessibility Standards More Readily Understandable
The proposed guidelines make it easier to understand how well a company’s site is performing in terms of accessibility, according to Sharon Rosenblatt, director of communications for Accessibility Partners, LLC. “For example, Section 4.1: Multiple ways to measure. Many times, my clients asked me what their accessibility ‘score’ is, and try to find a quantifiable way to measure accessibility. The new WCAG proposes ‘rubrics, sliding scale, task-completion, user research with people with disabilities, and more’ that more accurately gauges accessibility conformance rather than a matrix you may from Section 508.”
In Section 4.4, “technology neutral” guidelines will focus on the experience and not the device, Rosenblatt added. Previous guidelines broke down by technology type, so testers wouldn’t always be sure what to audit or not. Now, recommendations look at the experience rather than the classification, especially if a product has hardware and software components.
“The changes in language of the standards too will increase readability and usability so that people do not need to be engineers to understand and audit. This is great because folks come to technology from a wide range of backgrounds, many without technical acumen,” Rosenblatt said. “This makes the standards easier to apply when they are more easier understood.”