Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

W3C Publishes Working Draft of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0

January 21, 2021

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has published the First Public Working Draft (FPWD) of its W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0, which are developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world. WCAG 3.0 provides new ways to evaluate web content accessibility for people with disabilities by addressing more types of disabilities, concentrating on both mobile and desktop applications, and developing new tests and scoring to determine accessibility. 

For the latest updated information about WCAG 3.0, please see the WCAG 3 Introduction or the short link: w3.org/WAI/wcag3.

While WCAG 3.0 would succeed WCAG 2.1 and 2.0, it would not deprecate these earlier versions. WCAG 3.0 covers a wider set of user and disability needs, publishing requirements, and emerging technologies such as web XR (augmented, virtual, and mixed reality) and voice input. WCAG 3.0 also includes non-normative information about web technologies working in conjunction with authoring tools, user agents, and assistive technologies. The WCAG 3.0 model is designed to support better coverage across disabilities and be easier to maintain so that the model keeps pace with accelerating technology change.

Since the late 1990s, the Board and the WCAG working groups have engaged in ongoing collaboration to make web content more accessible to users with disabilities. The Board’s original Section 508 Standards (2000) cited WCAG 1.0 and included a mapping between specific WCAG 1.0 checkpoints and 508 provisions. The refreshed 508 Standards (2017) incorporate significant portions of WCAG 2.0 by reference. 

The finalized WCAG 3.0 Standards are not expected to be completed for a few years. Currently, W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0 Working Draft is incomplete and unpolished for the purposes of receiving input for the next draft. To provide feedback, please see the Status: Draft for Review section of the WCAG 3 Introduction.

To receive updates on information and communication technology, sign up for the Access Board’s ICT subscription.