WCAG Triple-A: “Accessibilty As An Afterthought”

The genius that is Mathew Smith (@smiffy) coined the  term Accessibility As An Afterthought in relation to WCAG Triple-A (ok so the clever among you will spot that it’s four A’s) over Twitter this morning and I couldn’t agree with him more:

AAAA (Accessibility As An Afterthought) seems to be pretty much standard MO for Google.

Triple-A (AAA) is the highest conformance you can claim in WCAG 2.0 with Single-A (A) being the basic and Double-A (AA) being the norm. Triple-A is generally seen as a nice to have with Success Criteria that you aim to achieve if it’s do-able.

Smiffy is right when he says sites or clients aiming for Triple-A are doing so an afterthought or because they really don’t know what it is they’re asking:

  • AAA is an aspiration, not a realistic goal. Go for Double-A with what Triple-A’s you can fit in
  • As the Not-so-evil Jim O’Donnell says “Was just thinking this morning how AAA compliance may be a good sign that a site hasn’t done user testing.”
  • A client requesting AAA conformance clearly has not read WCAG 2.0 and what it has to say on conformance:

    It is not recommended that Level AAA conformance be required as a general policy for entire sites because it is not possible to satisfy all Level AAA Success Criteria for some content.

Hat tip to ya Smiffy!

"Please install the paper dispenser so people can reach it without falling off the loo."

Image courtesy of  Austin ampersand Zak

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