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Content Accessibility Guidelines for People with Disabilities

Guidelines for Online Content Usability

The Web Content Usability Guidelines (WCAG) play an important role in the philosophy of web accessibility. The Online Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international development standards body for the development of the Internet. The WCAG is a set of advisors who make information on the Internet more available to people with disabilities and to other consumers, through devices such as cell phones.

Creation of Web Content Usability Guidelines

The WCAG was first released on 5 May 1999, referred to as WCAG 1.0, and was replaced by WCAG 2.0. WCAG 1.0 consists of 14 instruction sheets, each containing the fundamental concepts of usability. Each checklist is connected to checkpoints to direct the same involvement while creating each function of an open website or tool. WCAG Samurai was released in February 2008 by a group of independent developers. It was led by Joe Clark, who contained changes and extensions to WCAG 1.0. Later, on 11 December of the same year, WCAG 2.0 was formulated and adopted as a W3C recommendation, consisting of 12 recommendations under 4 principles. It said that the Internet and network resources must be perceivable, workable, comprehensible and durable. Testable performance metrics have been applied to each guideline. Along with the publishing of W3C Strategies for WCAG 2.0, a selection of techniques was used to help writers follow the standards and performance requirements. Techniques have changed over time, but the principles, rules and standards for performance are static.

POUR Content Guidelines

The definition of the Web Content Usability Standards is based on four key concepts that are considered during the creation of open websites and applications. The standards note that the material must be Perceivable, Operable, Intelligible and Robust (POUR). WCAG is the most cited set of online usability standards.


The material presented on the Internet must be perceivable, which relates to the need for consumers to be able to explain the knowledge presented. It cannot be made accessible to all their senses. Guidelines for perceivable material-

  • Text Alternatives-availability of alternatives to all non-text content, rendering the text alterable to any type desired by the recipient, i.e. braille, voice, large print, icons, or a simplified or easier language.
  • Time-based media – provision of options for time-based media.
  • Adaptable-information or user interface that can be interpreted in several ways without missing content, source or structure.
  • Distinguishable-separation of backdrop and foreground with a simpler interface.
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The material and the UI must be accessible. The guide cannot provide an interaction that the user is unable to execute. Guidelines for operable material-

  • Functional keyboard – all tasks must be accessible through the keyboard.
  • Sufficient Time Duration-Users must have sufficient time to read and use content.
  • Navigable- Users must be able to work through material and know where it is.
  • Input Modalities- Simplifird material allowing users to operate different functions beyond the keyboard.


Both the details and the UI must be condensed such that the user can understand it. Guidelines for understandable information-

  • Readable-The content must be readable and understandable.
  • Predictable-The UI and features of the material must be predictable.
  • Input Assistance-Users must be aided when inputting some information to help users prevent and correct errors and change content.


Content must be versatile in order to be viewed by various types of people, including assistive devices. Guidelines for robust materials-

  • Compatible – Content must be compatible to the greatest degree possible, to be perceived for the maximum number of people, including assistive devices.

W3C Online Accessibility Project (WAI)

WAI at W3C has brought together government officials, research laboratories, business and disability groups around the world to promote the advancement of the Internet. It requires the construction of an internationally inclusive guidance framework and tools for creating functional websites and apps for people with neurological, acoustic, physical, speech, visual and cognitive disabilities. The inclusion of WAI on web accessibility requires the following:

  • “Web Content”-software and website
  • Approving technologies such as content management systems (CMS) and blog applications
  • Online Usability Project – Open Rich Internet Apps (ARIA)
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The Internet is built to be open to anyone, regardless of the device, hardware, language, location or capability they use. As the internet completes the goal of complete connectivity to the public of a wide variety of gestures, vision, hearing and cognitive skills. As a result, the effects of one’s impairment are ineffective on the Internet because it eliminates the obstacles of e-communication and contact that many people experience in the real world. If websites, apps or software are poorly built, they can create several usability obstacles that do not enable users to use the Internet. Accessibility is an important part for developers who want to build high-quality websites and apps that can be more visited by any section of the willing users and not remove people from their items.


Any consumer should have fair access and opportunities regardless of his or her diverse skills. Of which the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities acknowledges access to media and information technology, including the Internet, as a fundamental or nominal human right. Accessibility to everyone covers not just those who have particular skills, but also the aged, rural consumers and people from least developed countries. It also helps people without disabilities, while the Web Accessibility Insights video illustrates the basic essence of accessibility for people with disabilities and is helpful to all in a range of circumstances. Accessibility is a good example. Dynamic in evolution overlaps with the other best implications of the internet and its growth, i.e. application independence, accessibility, search engine optimization (SEO), mobile web design, multi-model interaction and architecture for older users.

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People with disabilities can use easily built apps and websites. And all of them have been built with usability barriers that make it difficult for people to use them differently.

 For illustration: If the old text is not presented and is not meant to help the picture, it makes it impossible for blind people who use screen readers to read the contents of the website. It is important to create an old text for the visuals. Providing the old text, making the material on the page or the website more available to the public, including in a particular manner. It also supports systems that cannot interpret graphics like search engines.

Cite this article (The Bluebook 20th ed.)-

Kosha Doshi, Content Accessibility Guidelines for People with Disabilities, Ex Gratia Law Journal, (December 1, 2020),

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Kosha Doshi
Student - Symbiosis Law School, Pune