Countries that Have Adopted WCAG Standards [MAP]

August 22, 2017 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: March 9, 2021

countries that have adapted WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 standards. World Map.

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The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are by far the most universal and popular guidelines for web accessibility.

Created by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), WCAG is a set of guidelines to ensure online content is accessible to all users.

There are three versions of WCAG.The first, WCAG, was published in 1995. Next came WCAG 1.0, which was published in 1999. The newest version, WCAG 2.0, was published in 2008.

The difference between WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 is the way they organize accessibility guidelines. WCAG 1.0 uses three priority levels.

  • Priority 1: What a web developer “must satisfy.”
  • Priority 2: What a web developer “should satisfy.”
  • Priority 3: What a web developer “may address.”

WCAG 2.0 uses four universal design principles.

  • Perceivable: Users must be able to perceive all relevant information in your content.
  • Operable: Users must be able to operate the interface successfully.
  • Understandable: Users must be able to understand the information and operation of the interface.
  • Robust: Content must be accessible to all users and can be interpreted by a wider variety of user agents.

Both standards have three levels of compliance (Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA) for each priority and element of design, respectively.

Many countries around the world have adapted WCAG into their accessibility laws.

North America

countries with wcag USA and canada in North America

  • Under the Policy on Communications and Federal Identity, government agencies must adhere to WCAG 2.0.
  • In Ontario, under the AODA, private and non-profit organizations with 50+ employees must meet certain accessibility requirements. New public websites and web content posted after January 2012 must meet WCAG 2.0 Level A criteria. By January 1, 2021 “all public websites and web content must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA criteria,” with the exception of live captions (1.2.4) and pre-recorded audio descriptions (1.2.5).

United States:

  • Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires all federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and public individuals. The recent refresh of Section 508 requires websites to adhere to WCAG 2.0 standards.
  • In addition, several individual states have adapted their own web accessibility laws that incorporate WCAG 2.0.

South America

countries with wcag in south america, brazil, peru, argentina, chile, bolivia, colombia, venezuela, ecuador, uruguay

  • The Argentinian Guide to Accessibility for Websites of the National Public Sector uses WCAG 1.0 as the required website accessibility standard.


  • Bolivia does not have mandatory web accessibility laws. Instead, they’ve published a Standard Guide for Websites where the recommend compliance with several WCAG 2.0 level A and level AA standards.


  • Brazil’s Accessibility Model for Electronic Government Operations is based off WCAG 2.0, with additional recommendations.


  • On December 2006, the Chilean government published a guide for website accessibility. The guide uses a combination of WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 criteria.


  • Under The Institution of Colombia’s Technical Standards, WCAG 2.0 is referenced. The Colombian government outlines which entities must comply with each level of WCAG 2.0.


  • In Ecuador, any public or private organization that offers public services must meet level AA of WCAG 2.0.


  • Webpages under the public institution of Peru’s National Information System must meet WCAG 1.0.


  • Government portals in Uruguay must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA, and when necessary, meet Level AAA standards.


  • Venezuela’s Resolution 026 establishes accessibility requirements for the National Public Administration of Venezuela. While the law mentions WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 criteria, it does not clearly state that entities need to comply.

Europe and Africa

countries in europe portugal, denmark, germany, italy, ireland, france, the EU, UK, iceland, none in africa
European Union:


  • In addition to EU’s accessibility law, Ireland’s Equal Status Act has adapted WCAG 2.0 requirements for both the public and private sector.


  • Public and private sector institutions in Norway must comply with a WCAG 2.0 derivative.

United Kingdom:

  • The UK’s Equality Act of 2010 uses WCAG 2.0 as the standard for websites in the public and private sector.


india, china, hong kong, isreal, japan, south korea

  • In 2008, China enacted the Voluntary Web Accessibility Standard for agencies, ministries, and other governmental entities. These standards apply a WCAG 2.0 derivative.

Hong Kong:

  • Hong Kong’s mandatory web accessibility policy requires governmental agencies to comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA criteria. As part of an accessibility campaign, all private sector entities that meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA criteria will receive special recognition.


  • India has enacted a mandatory policy that requires government agencies to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A criteria.


  • Isreal’s non-discrimination law requires public and private sector entities to meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.


  • Japan’s JIS X 8341 is based on WCAG 2.0 criteria and is required for all local and central government websites. Commercial websites can voluntarily comply.

Republic of Korea:

  • South Korea’s non-discriminatory law references a WCAG 2.0 derivative.


australia and new zealand

  • The Australian government has endorsed WCAG 2.0 as the standard websites must meet. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1992, requires all Australian government agenciesto make their information accessible to all individuals.

New Zealand:

  • Governmental entities in New Zealand must comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards.

Download the white paper: WCAG 2.0: : Bringing Web Accessibility into the 21st Century

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