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W3c ­pgrades Web Accessibility Standards

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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has released version 2.0 of its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which are designed to help developers make Web sites and online content easier to access for users with disabilities. W3C plans to make WCAG 2.0 an international standard. "There were a lot of different guidelines for accessibility developed by different countries and organizations, so in WCAG 2.0 we had this huge effort to develop something that would work well across all these different needs and become like a unified international standard," says W3C Web Accessibility Initiative director Judy Brewer. "There's been considerable international interest in accepting this as a standard."

So far, WCAG 2.0 has received support from Adobe, IBM, Boeing, Microsoft, the Chinese and Japanese governments, and the European Commission for Information Society and Media. WCAG 2.0 offers several improvements over the previous version, including support for new Web technologies. "WCAG 1.0 was specifically for HTML, but the Web uses other technologies now, and we wanted an updated standard that would cover any technologies and also give developers more flexibility," Brewer says.


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