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What is ISO/IEC 40500 for Website Digital Accessibility?

By: Skynet Technologies USA LLC
Nov 24, 23
Nov 24, 23
ISO/IEC 40500 Digital Accessibility

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are universally accepted standards created by W3C in 2008 with the intent of promoting digital accessibility. And in 2012, the International Standards Organization (ISO) published that WCAG 2.0 is an international standard ISO/IEC 40500:2012 as well. Therefore, it is reliable for all countries to adopt WCAG 2.0 as ISO/IEC 40500 to create more accessible designs.

In 2012, there were a few countries adhering to ISO technical standards for their products and services; to increase inclusivity after this collaboration announcement. So, the idea is if a country is already conforming to ISO technical standards, they can apply and code WCAG standards to make their digital landscape accessible.

What are the similarities between WCAG 2.0 and ISO/IEC 40500?

ISO/IEC 40500:2012 is the same as the original WCAG 2.0 standards and its content is available on www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20. To comply with ISO/IEC 40500, you can get supporting resources at www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/.

Both WCAG 2.0 and ISO/IEC 40500 standards are made using principles that are essential for legal compliance. ISO/IEC 40500 focuses on a wide array of accessibility recommendations for making web content more accessible, akin to WCAG for people with disabilities including blindness and low vision, learning and cognitive limitations, mobility issues, hearing loss and deafness, speech impairments, and a combination of these.

It is evident that having the de-jure universal standard increases the odds of W3C specifications implementation. A larger part of digital users is familiar with the ISO and IEC across the world than WCAG; thus, several governments have made it mandatory to use ISO/IEC 40500 standard.

Moreover, when it comes to W3C adaptation, many entities lack coordination, which results in standard fragmentation. However, the WCAG to ISO process (also known as PAS, Publicly Available Specification) is witnessing a mechanism for better coordination between different international standards. It will improve global interoperability and inclusivity of ICT products. Thereby, countries that have already adopted ISO standards can easily adapt WCAG 2.0 as ISO/IEC 40500.

(Important: W3C has offered WCAG 2.0 Authorized Translations that can be used for the ISO/IEC translations.)

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Is testing websites against ISO/IEC 40500 mandatory?

The best practice is to test your content against the latest version of WCAG if you’re concerned with ISO compliance. The current version is WCAG 2.2 published on October 5, 2023. Each new version doesn’t deprecate earlier versions.

Is there any certification for ISO/IEC 40500 standard?

No, certification is not given by the ISO organization. However, showcasing your accessibility commitment always create a positive brand image.

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So, what are you waiting for?

Inclusivity matters! To gain new business heights, it is a wise choice to remediate accessibility issues by implementing suggested guidelines by W3C.

Skynet Technologies, a proud associate member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and a recognized participant in W3C takes immense pride in its valuable contributions to the global accessibility community.

We provide WCAG web accessibility solution from quick website accessibility to a full custom ADA WCAG 2.1/2.2 compliant website, app, or any digital assets remediation. If you are looking for web accessibility services including website accessibility design, audit, consulting, training, remediation, support, and more; please feel free to email us at [email protected].