W3C improves web accessibility

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has announced a new standard to make sites more accessible to older and disabled people - Version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

It will apply to text, images, audio and video, according to a BBC report. It also covers web applications and is said to give developers more flexibility than the old guidelines.

The guidance is designed to address barriers encountered by people with visual, hearing, physical, cognitive and neurological disabilities and older people with access needs.

In particular, the draft standard recommends the involvement of disabled people in the development of websites and suggests automated tools to test for accessibility.

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published a good practice guide - based on BS 8878 - which reminds organisations of their legal responsibilities for web accessibility simultaneously. The guide urges them to nominate a specific individual or departments to ensure compliance.