• Author: Access iQ ®
  • Date: 18 Jul 2012
  • Access: Free

Quick facts

Creating web content that is accessible and complies with WCAG 2.0 is a process that involves the collaborative efforts of a web developer, designer and content author.

Creating web content that is accessible and complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) is a process that involves the collaborative efforts of a web developer, designer and content author.

Most content authors access and upload content on a website through a content management system (CMS). The first step is always to be familiar with the CMS built specifically for your organisation: get to know the ins and outs - how to add a heading, how to add an image, what information will be reflected on the page, and so on. All of these things are important because it can mean the difference between accessible content and inaccessible content.

For example, your CMS may automate page titles using the <h1> code. This can result in ineffective page titles that become inaccessible when using a screen reader. If this is the case, content managers need to have an understanding of how to spot this in HTML view and rectify problems if an automated function results in part of your website being inaccessible.

Understanding the way your CMS works may require liaising with web developers and designers alike. Your web developer can clarify for you how headings are presented, while you can work with your web designer to ensure your text content is presented in correct colour contrast. Working with the web developer and web designer as well as understanding the CMS is important in making sure your content complies with the WCAG 2.0 standards.

Creating accessible web content is by no means a restriction on the content you include on your site — it's just a more usable way of presenting this information. As A complete guide to web accessibility for content authors shows, there are techniques that can be used to turn most types of content into accessible content.

People who have a disability often need to use assistive technology to access the web. A complete guide to web accessibility for content authors helps you understand how assistive technologies such as a screen magnifier or screen reader work with web content. In doing so, you can understand the importance of adopting best practices for creating accessible web content in the first stages of planning your website.

Many of the techniques outlined in A complete guide to web accessibility for content authors also rely on your own judgement as a content author: does an image serve a purpose and if so, is the alternative (alt) text description a sufficient substitute for image content?

Creating web content that is accessible is not only important for people with vision or hearing impairments, or people with a cognitive disability — accessible web content improves the overall usability of your site.