15 October 2012
Today the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Joint Technical Committee JTC 1, Information Technology of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), announced approval of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as an ISO/IEC International Standard (ISO/IEC 40500:2012).
“This important accessibility standard, which is already widely deployed internationally, can now benefit from additional formal recognition from ISO/IEC national bodies,” noted Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. “Such recognition is expected to increase internationally harmonized uptake of WCAG 2.0 by governments, business, and the broader Web community.”
“ISO/IEC JTC 1 is very pleased to bring on board this most important of W3C accessibility standards, given the increased interest in accessibility among JTC 1 National Bodies in recent years,” said Karen Higginbottom, Chair of ISO/IEC JTC 1. “We also expect that ISO/IEC recognition will encourage greater convergence around WCAG 2.0, further driving development of supporting tools and software.”
International harmonization of accessibility standards benefits all
WCAG 2.0 has been adopted or referenced by many governments and organizations. Following the passage of the United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an increasing number of countries have been seeking solutions to address their treaty commitments for information technology accessibility for people with disabilities.
“The ISO/IEC imprimatur increases the avenues for adoption of W3C technology and guidelines,” noted Judy Brewer, Director of the Web Accessibility Initiative at W3C. “In some countries, policies require that nationally adopted technical standards must be ISO/IEC. Formal approval by JTC 1 of WCAG 2.0 will increase deployment, reduce fragmentation, and provide all users with greater interoperability on the web.”
WCAG 2.0 was first submitted to the ISO/IEC JTC 1 process for Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) in October 2011. W3C has been an approved JTC 1 PAS Submitter since November 2010, and is one of nine organizations that are currently approved. To learn more about W3C and the ISO/IEC JTC1 PAS Submission process, see the W3C PAS FAQ and the JTC 1 website.
WCAG 2.0 is a stable standard with extensive supporting resources
As an ISO/IEC JTC 1 Standard, WCAG 2.0 is now also available from ISO/IEC, while it remains a stable international W3C standard with extensive supporting resources. JTC 1 recognition neither changes nor supercedes the existing standard, which remains freely available from the W3C website along with multiple W3C authorized translations of WCAG 2.0.
W3C provides a number of supporting resources for managers, developers and policy-makers, in addition to the WCAG 2.0 standard, including WCAG 2.0 Overview, WCAG 2.0 at a Glance, How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A Customizable Quick Reference, Techniques for WCAG 2.0, and Understanding WCAG 2.0.
About the World Wide Web Consortium
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 375 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/
About the Web Accessibility Initiative
W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) works with organizations around the world to make the Web more accessible for people with disabilities and older users. WAI pursues accessibility of the Web by ensuring that Web technologies support accessibility; developing guidelines for Web content, browsers and media players, and authoring tools; developing resources to support improved evaluation tools; developing resources for education and outreach; and coordinating with research and development efforts that can affect future accessibility of the Web. WAI is supported in part by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), the European Commission’s Information Society Technologies Programme, HP and IBM. For more information see http://www.w3.org/WAI/
About JTC 1
The joint technical committee of ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission), ISO/IEC JTC 1, Information technology, is the place where the basic building blocks of new technologies are defined and where the foundations of important ICT infrastructures are laid. With more than 2,400 standards and related documents developed by over 2,000 national body experts from around the world, ISO/IEC JTC 1 brings innovative solutions and best practice to the marketplace.
ISO is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of some 164 countries as of July 2012. More than 100 of ISO’s members are from developing countries. ISO has more than 18600 International Standards in its currents portfolio. ISO’s work programme ranges from standards for traditional activities, such as agriculture and construction, through mechanical engineering, manufacturing and distribution, to transport, medical devices, the environment, safety, information and communication technologies, and to standards for good practices and for services.
The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies – collectively known as “electrotechnology.” IEC International Standards cover a vast range of technologies from power generation, transmission and distribution to home appliances and office equipment, semiconductors, fibre optics, batteries, nanotechnologies, solar energy and marine energy converters, to mention just a few. Wherever you find electricity and electronics, you will find the IEC supporting safety and performance, the environment, electrical energy efficiency and renewable energies. The IEC also manages Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that equipment, systems or components conform to its International Standards. www.iec.ch
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Reproduced from http://www.w3.org/2012/07/wcag2pas-pr.html