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22 January 2021

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has published the first working draft for its significantly updated and renamed W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0 standard.

In a statement by W3C, it was announced that “WCAG 3 is intended to be easier to understand and more flexible than WCAG 2. The flexibility is to address different types of web content, apps, and tools — as well as organizations and people with disabilities. WCAG 3 has a significantly different approach than WCAG 2. It has a different name, structure, conformance model, and scope. The plan is for WCAG 3 to include most of the accessibility requirements (“success criteria”) from WCAG 2 and include additional accessibility requirements. The WCAG 3 development schedule goes into 2023.”

For people interested in learning about WCAG 3.0, W3C WAI recommends the WCAG 3.0 Introduction resource as the best starting point.

The development of WCAG 3.0, formerly codenamed Silver, has been in development for several years and will mark a significant shift in how online content is assessed for its accessibility. The idea of WCAG 3.0 is that it brings together several W3C standards including the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) and endeavours to be applicable to current and future technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

CFA Australia welcomes  the public release and will provide comprehensive information on the new standard as its development progresses. The WCAG 3.0 public draft is open for comment which provides a great opportunity to contribute to the emerging standard.