We’re writing to you today to give you an important (and exciting!) update to Penn’s Digital Accessibility Policy.
Previously, Penn required all University sites and web applications to meet The Worldwide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0, Level AA Conformance.
Effective April 1, 2022, Penn’s requirement is WCAG 2.1, Level AA Conformance for websites and web applications that are created or undergo significant revisions or redesign after April 1, 2022. For the full policy, please visit our Digital Accessibility Policy page.
Why are we changing our policy?
WCAG 2.0 was published in 2008. By transitioning to 2.1, we ensure that our digital environments are more usable on mobile devices and for people with cognitive and learning disabilities.
What is considered a “significant revision”?
Significant revisions include the adoption of/migration to a new platform, modification to the majority of the content, or another change that substantially alters usability or design.
Are there a lot of changes from WCAG 2.0 to WCAG 2.1?
WCAG 2.1 adds 12 additional success criteria that need to be addressed to meet our Level AA requirement. Most of the additions are things you are probably already doing, such as using a responsive framework. A full list can be found on the W3C’s What’s New in WCAG 2.1 Guide.
I have a website/web application currently in development. What do I do?
If your website/web application is currently in development, please work with your team and/or vendors to ensure it is compliant with WCAG 2.1, Level AA guidelines at time of launch.
My website/web application is already live. What do I need to do?
For University websites and web applications created before April 1, 2022, our policy remains WCAG 2.0 Level AA. However, website and web application owners are strongly encouraged to update their sites and applications to meet WCAG 2.1, Level AA standards when making other changes or updates.
I have other questions. Who do I speak to?
As always, thank you for all your work on and support for Penn’s digital inclusivity initiatives.