Bob Dylan’s famous lyrics still linger in one’s mind. While it has been half a century to this song and the political upheaval at the time, the lyrics still stand true, not just in a political sense but also with respect to the field of technology, especially accessibility. With an age old struggle to achieve a rightful place not just in the society but in the digital space as well, there has been a global transformation with the help of people as well as the certain mandates like Section 508, WCAG 2.0 and now, WCAG 2.1 which is on its way to augment this change even further.
Considering the status as well as the avenues open for the differently abled decades back, today’s day and age has seen a paramount change wherein digital organizations are not just thriving towards realizing accessibility in its purest sense but testing organizations are assisting them in achieving this dream. With unique tactics such as paired testing, a way of combining the test efforts of a sighted and a non-sighted engineer to achieve quality in applications, the industry is blooming by involving the differently abled to help the differently abled. This also involves the compliance towards the changing and ever evolving guidelines in helping organizations achieve so. With the coming of WCAG 2.1, a backward-compatible and extended guideline of WCAG 2.0, the domain of accessibility will see a further change in certain aspects, whether it be related to mobiles, for low vision users or users with cognitive impairment. Conformance to such mandates including the formation of reports like VPAT, especially VPAT 2.0, the latest version which is inclusive of WCAG 2.0 and EN 301 549 requirements along with the revised versions of Section 508 and Section 255, has called out for a refinement in the standards and guidelines. It also points out towards the growing need of involving testing organizations in the process of providing compliance certificates to companies for their digital initiatives. This would ensure a thorough end-to-end accessibility test coverage in order to truly move forward in the times which are a-changin’.