Although there has been a lot of criticism of the WCAG 2.0 guidelines and I am still as confused about what they actually say, at least I can now see some hope for the future of accessibility.
This session had a lot of back and forth over the pros and cons of the new guidelines but the underlying message is that we need to start looking beyond just checking the accessibility box.
As I have said in our podcast, accessibility should be more than just conforming to a set of guidelines. The message today was that you need to carefully consider your accessibility policy for each website you create. You need to balance accessibility with design and business consideration. You need to look at the requirements of your target audience and respond swiftly to comments from your users.
A lot of organisations want to conform to a specific level purely to prevent themselves from being sued. However, as long as an organisation responds in a timely manner to complaints about inaccessible content, they really are in no danger from disability discrimination legislation. The result is that the focus should be on making your site more accessible not covering the collective arse.
I was pleasantly surpised by this pragmatic, real world approach to accessibility. Most refreshing…
And Joe Clark’s article on A List Apart was only mentioned six times ;)