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The Digital Accessibility Journey: Exploring Priorities and Investments in Aus and NZ organisations

What is WCAG?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) develops well-known web standards like HTML or CSS. They’ve also developed a set of digital access standards called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These standards are separated into three levels (A, AA and AAA) and provide businesses with detailed advice and checklists to help enable accessibility of their digital content. But awareness and adoption among large businesses is surprisingly low.

  • A third of respondents are completely unaware of WCAG.
  • A further third say they are aware but don’t know much about its guidelines.
  • Only one in ten are fully aware of what WCAG entails.
  • In Australia, only government agencies are required to adhere to these standards.
  • Awareness of WCAG is high among those in UX roles, followed by marketing and comms, however significantly low amongst respondents in sales roles.
  • Those who are aware of WCAG are implementing different levels of the guidelines, highlighting that if education increases, these standards would likely be implemented.
What is WCAG? “Understanding the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is critical for organisations to embed digital accessibility into their solutions and services. The guidelines can appear complex and there’s certainly more that can be done to drive awareness and provide education on WCAG. For instance, simplifying the guidelines and making them role specific can help organisations use them more effectively.”

– Scott Hollier, CEO, Centre for Accessibility Australia and an active participant in the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Research Questions Task Force (RQTF)