WCAG 2.0 vs WCAG 1.0

We have been asked why our accessibility statement states that: We will provide a solution capable of delivering accessible websites that comply with WCAG 1.0 Priority 2 and Section 508 requirements by release 1.2 of Joomla! As some of you have pointed out, the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is working on a new set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The current guidelines (1.0) came into effect in 1999. The new, draft 2.0 guidelines have been promised "within the year", but it's been more than a year since it was promised. This leaves Joomla! in a difficult situation. Should we continue to work towards compliance with WCAG 1.0, or gamble on a release of WCAG 2.0 that coincides with the Joomla! release that incorporates WAI compliance into the core?

As you can well imagine, this is not a straightforward decision. The fact is, there is no telling when WCAG 2.0 will pass from draft to the established set of guidelines. It is also impossible to know which parts of the 2.0 Draft will change, and to what extent these changes will happen. It would be counter productive to work to implement features to comply with a success criteria, only to have that criteria change later on.

Also, while there are many changes, the WCAG 1.0 are still good guidelines to follow. Most of the 1.0 requirements are found in 2.0, even if they were re-phrased and redefined. Complying with WCAG 1.0 will greatly ease the transition to 2.0 when that set of guidelines becomes the standard to follow.

We therefore have decided to work towards compliance with WCAG 1.0.

When WCAG 2.0 comes into effect, we shall then review and adapt the code for compliance. The important thing is that we are working towards accessibility, and we are keeping an eye out for the changes coming to accessibility guidelines.