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Road to an Accessible Digital Environment

Picture of Cristina Torné Soler
Cristina Torné Soler
| 11 June, 2024

Understanding and Applying the WCAG

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) represent more than a set of technical recommendations; they are the bridge to a more inclusive digital world.Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) through a global effort, the WCAG apply to all web technologies and are verifiable through automated tests and human evaluations. They offer a solid foundation for those seeking to promote digital accessibility.

Who Are the WCAG For?

These guidelines serve as a guide not only for developers but for any professional involved in creating and maintaining accessible digital spaces:

  • Websites
  • Corporate intranets
  • Landing pages
  • E-commerce
  • Corporate applications and digitized processes
  • Mobile applications
  • Management software
  • Corporate documentation (pdf, ppt, etc.)

What Are the Uses of the WCAG?

The WCAG are a series of recommendations designed to:

  • Make web content accessible to all users regardless of their ability
  • Improve the online experience for a broader range of users, such as:
    • Elderly people, helping bridge the digital divide.
    • Temporarily disabled individuals, such as those with a broken arm.
    • Users accessing content through various devices: computers, mobiles, tablets, smart TVs, and smartwatches.
    • People who, due to their situation or location, face slow internet connections.

This approach ensures that digital content is more inclusive and accessible to all users.

How Are the WCAG Structured?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) present a detailed structure that, at first glance, may seem complex due to its thoroughness and depth. They are organized around four fundamental principles, each supported by specific guidelines and clearly defined conformance criteria. These conformance criteria, essential for evaluating the accessibility of a website, vary according to the version of the WCAG.


At the highest level are the four principles that provide the foundations of web accessibility:

  • Perceivable: Information and user interface components must be presented to users in ways they can perceive.
  • Operable: User interface components and navigation must be operable by people with various disabilities.
  • Understandable: Information and the operation of the user interface must be understandable.
  • Robust: The interface must be compatible with current and future user tools.

WCAG 2.1 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Below the principles are the guidelines. These outline the essential goals that content creators must achieve to ensure greater accessibility for users with various disabilities.The number of guidelines may vary according to the version of the WCAG. Although these guidelines themselves are not directly verifiable, they establish a framework and clear goals that guide authors towards understanding and effectively applying the conformance criteria, thus facilitating the implementation of specific techniques to improve accessibility.Some examples of guidelines associated with the principles:

  • Perceivable: Providing alternative text for non-text content and ensuring all content is adaptable and easy to distinguish.
  • Operable: Allowing control of all functions from the keyboard, providing sufficient time to interact with content, and facilitating navigation.
  • Understandable: Making text readable and operations predictable, as well as assisting with data entry.
  • Robust: Maximizing compatibility with various user agents and assistive technologies.

Follow our social media for tips on how to apply these accessibility guidelines. Don’t miss our upcoming updates!

What Are the WCAG Conformance Levels?

The guidelines consist of success criteria. Each success criterion has a level of conformance (A, AA, or AAA) that indicates its impact on accessibility.

  • Priority 1 (Level A): Essential for all users to access content. If not met, some people will find it impossible to access the information.
  • Priority 2 (Level AA): Removes significant access barriers. Compliance is necessary for some user groups to avoid difficulties.
  • Priority 3 (Level AAA): Recommendations to further improve accessibility. Adherence makes content accessible to the widest possible range of users.

What Versions of WCAG Are There?

The WCAG documentation has evolved through different versions to address the changing needs of digital accessibility.

  • WCAG 1.0 (May 1999): The initial foundation of the recommendations, establishing the priority levels scheme.
  • WCAG 2.0 (December 2008): This version improved the definition and precision of the guidelines, maintaining the priority levels scheme.
  • WCAG 2.1 (June 2018): Retains all criteria from 2.0 and introduces 17 new ones to increase accessibility, especially for users with cognitive, learning, visual disabilities, and mobile device users.
  • WCAG 2.2 (October 2023): The most current version. If you want to know the latest updates, visit our article “What’s New in WCAG 2.2”.
  • WCAG 3.0 (no date): Still in draft. The latest update was on July 24, 2023.

The number of conformance criteria in the different versions of WCAG 2.x is:

*WCAG 2.2 adds two new level A criteria but removes one (4.1.1 Parsing).

Complying with the Future of Accessibility: Is Your Project Ready?

In line with Spanish regulations and the upcoming compliance with the European Accessibility Act, it is crucial to review if your project meets current accessibility standards. Royal Decree 1112/2018 marked an important milestone, and now, we look towards 2025 with the European law that will require at least level AA conformance. Don’t fall behind in digital accessibility.

To explore more about these fundamental guidelines and how they can transform digital accessibility, you can read an introduction to the WCAG here.

For constant updates and personalized assistance, follow us on our social media or contact us through the form. We are here to ensure that your project not only meets the guidelines but also offers an inclusive experience.

Are You Ready to Take the Step in Digital Accessibility?

Contact us to get started!

    Cristina Torné Soler

    With over a decade of experience, I specialize in creating inclusive and accessible digital environments. My expertise lies in UX/UI design, with a deep commitment to integrating digital accessibility standards (WCAG) to deliver user experiences that are universally accessible and engaging.

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