Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 for Arabic Web Content
Research article Open access | Available online on: 05 September, 2019 | Last update: 05 September, 2019
As the pioneer of accessibility innovation in the region, Assistive Technology Center “Mada” has always worked to promote Arabic AT solutions and support the provision of international best practices and standards in Arabic. E-Accessibility is one of the key rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 9 – Accessibility). E-Accessibility can be defined as the ease of use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by Persons With Disabilities (PWD). Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 were released in June 5, 2018, enhancing digital access standards for PWDs.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.1
WCAG 2.1 has 17 new additional guidelines with more emphasis on cognitive disabilities, users with low vision, and users with disabilities on mobile web accessibility and all are tested by Mada to be compatible with Arabic content. WCAG 2.1 is backwards compatible to 2.0. Previous guidelines, principles, numbering and success criteria still apply.
To ensure the ease of access to Arabic content within various digital platforms by people with different disabilities, Mada Center has worked in building abilities within government organizations through conducting several workshops based on WCAG2.1. Furthermore, Mada had worked in building a library of user interface web component for web developers. Recently, the UI web component had been enhanced to comply with WCAG2.1, and it is available for use through Mada AT portal.
WCAG 2.1 Enhanced in Three Primary Areas
As a number of years that have passed since the introduction of WCAG 2.0, there are categories in which major technological innovations have occurred, and WCAG 2.1 addresses those changes and what is missing from the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
The changes in mobile technology are massive. People no longer rely solely on laptops and desktop computers to go online. Now there are tablets, smartphones, televisions, and watches that are vehicles for accessing online content. And speaking of vehicles, these changes raise a host of accessibility concerns such as smaller screens, touch screens, and the physical environment in which these devices are used. WCAG 2.1 addresses these issues.
- Low Vision
People with low vision face a host of issues affecting their ability to access digital information such as color contrast, light sensitivity, and color blindness. Now there are technological solutions provided by WCAG 2.1 to meet these accessibility needs.
Persons with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism and age-related cognitive degeneration all face accessibility issues. WCAG 2.1 addresses and improves accessibility for these users.
Open the virtual front door to your organization as wide as possible through your website. This starts when you approach web design, functionality, and your content from an all-inclusive perspective. The approach is also a positive reflection about how you view the world and the diversity of people in it. Mada encourages you to take every opportunity to lower the virtual barrier or remove it altogether.