The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international standards-making body that develops accessibility-related guidance via the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). According to Getting Started with Web Accessibility", the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities."
WAI's Introduction to Web Accessibility describes this work in more detail and reads, in part:
Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. More specifically, Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.
Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.
WAI develops recommendations and supporting documents to assist everyone, such as managers, developers, designers, and vendors of browsers and authoring tools to understand and implement its accessibility guidance. Starting points for the four key recommendations are:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Overview (WCAG 2.0)
- WAI-ARIA Overview (WAI-ARIA 1.0 -- with 1.1 as Candidate Recommendation)
- Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines Overview (ATAG 2.0)
- User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Overview (UAAG 2.0)
WAI's Resources page gives an overview of the content on the site, with a focus on presenting the supporting documents so that different audiences will be able to find what they need.
In 2012, WCAG 2.0 became an ISO Standard.
The Portable Document Format (PDF) also has become standardized via the work of the PDF Association. PDF 2.0 is the most recent version; it is known as ISO 32000-2
Examples of Government Guidance
While they are not standards, per se, some national governments are beginning to develop information that tends to supplement the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines; it may help when implementing accessibility. Although there may be others, here are some of the best known examples:
- GOV.AU Content GuideAccessibility and inclusivity
- Making your service accessible: an introduction (UK Government Service Manual)
- Accessibility Guide (United States Digital Service)
- Web Experience Toolkit (open source framework of accessible templates and components from the government of Canada)