W3C Accessibility

What is W3C Accessibility?

What is W3C accessibility and why you should care.

In many U.S. state web accessibility guidelines and even areas of the Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, you see mention of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and its accessibility guidelines. But what exactly is the World Wide Web Consortium and why are state and federal governments looking to it when creating equal access standards for information technology?

W3C Accessibility Mission Statement

W3C Accessibility Mission
W3C Mission

The W3C mission is to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and guidelines that ensure the long-term growth of the Web.

From the Creator of the Web

The concept of the W3C originated from the same person who created the World Wide Web. Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web in 1989. In 1994, Berners-Lee and Dr Jeffrey Jaffe founded the World Wide Web Consortium within MIT.

Today, the W3C is a vibrant and global community comprised of institutions, dedicated staff, member organizations and people from the public working together to create fair unified standards for the Web. The goals, vision and mission of the W3C include:

  • Promoting long-term growth and stability for the Web.
  • Make sure that the Web is available to everyone, regardless of IT infrastructure, physical location, culture, language and physical or mental abilities.
  • Build trust with transparency by sharing knowledge and participating in the process.
  • Ensure that anyone can take part in sharing information on the Web with a universal design and architecture.
  • Provide security on the Web to encourage people to share information, socialize and participate in Web services.
  • Supporting the wealth of data and services on the Web with universal formatting and structure.

Unique Business Structure

As a consortium, the W3C doesn’t have a standard business structure. Administrative duties fall to a group of host institutions. The four institutions that participate in the W3C are:

  • MIT
  • Keio University
  • Beihang University

Dr Jeffrey Jaffe is the CEO of W3C and full-time employees of the consortium are members of one of the four host institutions.

International Members:

There are over 400 members of the W3C from all over the world, including:

  • IBM
  • Google
  • Dell
  • AT&T
  • Twitter
  • The Walt Disney Company

Accessibility For All

The W3C’s accessibility charter includes accessibility for all people, regardless of their devices or abilities. The consortium is responsible for creating accessibility guidelines that many governments and businesses strive to follow.

The W3C is strongly motivated by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  They represent the information and communications technologies, including the viewpoint that the access to the Web, is a basic human right.  We agree. 

Examples of Accessibility for All:

To learn more about becoming a participant of the W3C, you can read more information here. If you require video captions and subtitles for accessibility, enjoy a complimentary video captioning trial.  Stay up to date on the latest in accessibility and caption requirements, sign up for our newsletter.

Nicole E. Flynn, CMO at cielo24, is deeply interested in exploring and communicating the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with various aspects of our daily lives. She is passionate about exploring the ways in which AI can be ethically harnessed to improve the quality of life and make our world a better place. Nicole seeks to educate and inform audiences about the potential of AI technology and how it can be used to drive innovation and growth.