Recommended Compliance Targets
A variety of different accessibility standards are relevant to any given organization and ultimately the level of accessibility that makes sense will vary from organization to organization. In general, as a minimum SSB recommends that organizations pursue generally with the WCAG 2 Level A Guidelines and Section 508 requirements. The WCAG Priority Level One and Section 508 requirements are generally considered coincident with the minimum level of compliance required to conform to the requirements of most web accessibility legislation. Achieving this level of compliance will allow organizations to eliminate the majority of risk associated with publicly available web sites.
In addition, the domestic guidance of most industrialized nations often includes WCAG 2 Level AA and some Level AAA requirements in accessible sites. These requirements address certain advanced accessibility features that can increase the usability of the site to people with disabilities. SSB generally recommends that developers include these enhancements when developing sites as viable but that organizations not mandate their inclusion with the standards. This blended approach allows for the avoidance of most legal risk and while positioning an organization as an accessibility leader within their industry.
NFB Non-visual Accessibility Certification
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) provides a certification program for web sites that have successfully completed an audit for accessibility to individuals that are blind. The NFB certification criteria are usability based and require that the site be usable within two major assistive technologies and that all usage cases of the site can be executed in both types of assistive technologies. The NFB certification generally requires a fair amount of effort to achieve and provides principal benefits in the area of public relations. It is unlikely to provide significant benefit in terms of the implementation of accessibility best practices and will provide marginal legal protection. It is, however, the only available certification program in the US domestic market so for organizations looking for validation for web accessibility efforts it is the only option.