About WCAG

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is an international standard (ISO/IEC 40500) published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

According to Rice Policy 851, the WCAG version 2.1, levels A and AA is Rice University's standard for creating, sharing, and procuring accessible information and communication technologies (ICT).

Learn more about the WCAG:

Expanding Access

The WCAG is not a law, but a set of guidelines for ensuring that digital information is accessible and complies with nondiscrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990) and the 508 ICT Refresh (2018).

The WCAG gives guidance for avoiding and removing accessibility barriers so that everyone, including people with disabilities, can independently access and use the digital information we create and share.

WCAG Layers

The WCAG 2.1 standards consists of multiple layers of guidance.

  • 4 Principles.
  • 13 Guidelines.
  • 50 A and AA Success Criteria (SC).
  • Techniques for meeting SC.

Rice Content authors are not required to be experts in all WCAG 2.1 A and AA success criteria.
Read more about the basic techniques in the following section.

Designing with WCAG

If we start with a few basic techniques, then we can design a wide variety of digital information that meet many success criteria of the WCAG.

Basic Techniques of Accessible Design

We distilled the WCAG 2.1 A-AA criteria with the highest impact for content authors into eight basic guides.

Sometimes we refer to these techniques as “digital curb cuts” because they expand access for everyone and can be applied in many different contexts. Other times we refer to them as "low-hanging fruit" because they are easy to implement and have a big impact.

Guides for Forms and Mobile Checks coming soon.

Accessibility Guides

There are various technologies for creating and sharing public and academic digital information at Rice. See the following for additional guides about specific technologies.

Guides coming soon: Video Conferencing, Website Reviews, Purchasing.