Conference room. Speech bubles over speaker and audience5 people of different races stand next to each other, look forward and smileNewscaster. Caption in lower part of screen: Good evening. The markets closed today'A couple watches TV. In the air floats a phrase that describes the image on TV'
 

Several icons (laptop, shopping cart, etc) float on a white background

The first draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 was published on February 28th by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is available for comments until the end of this month.

What are the WCAG about? Have you experienced difficulties in finding something on a web page because the page has confusing menus or buttons that take you to the wrong location? Even worse, have you been unable to close an open session because the sign off button is nowhere to be found?  If you are a person with no disabilities and have experienced these situations, imagine how much more difficult it is for a person with disabilities to browse the internet.

This is why worldwide, in addition to the rules in each country, the W3C has established guidelines that define accessibility standards to take into account in the construction of web pages. The objetive of these standards is to make web content more accessible to people with different types of disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these. Following the W3C guidelines often makes Web content easier to use by any person and not only by persons with disabilities.

The W3C is an organization located in the Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) and has members worldwide.  Its task is to develop open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web.  The previous WCAG version (2.0 version) was published in December of 2008.  

One of the major challenges of the fast technological advancement is to offer accessibility for all.  The update of the WCAG will make the web easier to use for everybody.

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A woman looks forward, smiles and talks with her hands on the sides of her mouth.

We take our sensory experiences for granted

 

When I was born I was diagnosed with grade III microtia and atresia on my left side and I had a shorter jawbone on that side too.  I realized just recently how hard that was for my parents.  I was their first child and when they saw their baby missing her left ear, their world crumbled.  Fortunately, that has not been a big deal for me.  When I was a child, kids sometimes were cruel; but I had opportunities for revenge. 

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