What are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)?

Imagine you own a store, and on the front door you have a big sign that says “Visually impaired and other handicapped people are not welcome!”  That would be awful.  But you might already be doing that.

Your website is your storefront online, and it might be telling some people that they are not welcome.  Some people who have difficulty using their eyes use screen reading software that only works properly if your website cooperates.  Moreover, there are people who have difficulty using a mouse, and they might not be able to click the big button in the middle of the screen that reads “Click Here.”

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that federal agencies must comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).  All citizens must have access to government websites and software application.

It is also important for your website to comply to these standards, not only to avoid lawsuits in the future but also to make all people with money to spend on your products or services feel welcome.  If you are a government contractor providing information technology products then you must comply. If your business receives federal funding, then you should make sure your websites, web applications, and desktop software complies.

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