What are the rules?

Duke is striving for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA compliance.  

When a website is WCAG compliant it helps people with a diverse range of abilities receive equal access to information and functionality. 

WCAG is an international technical standard that has been adopted and in some cases required by federal, state and local law. It is part of website requirements as set forth by U.S. law under Section 508 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The Rehabilitation Act affords Civil Rights to individuals with disabilities.

Duke has chosen to make its websites follow the federal guidelines and meet WCAG 2.0 level AA compliance. Read Duke's Guidelines.

Measuring compliance

Web accessibility can be measured by following the principles and guidelines set forth by the WCAG. For each guideline, there are testable success criteria. 


A website or Electronic Information Technology (EIT) can be visited by people with very different types of perceptive preferences and needs. The site must give alternatives if a user cannot use one of their senses.

One example is a person without perfect vision. The site text must have high enough contrast against its background so that it is easily legible.


A visitor can come to a website with a wide variety of abilities, browsers, devices, and assistive technologies. Interface components and navigation elements need to work in a wide variety of scenarios in a way that everyone can “operate” on it.

For example, some people cannot use a mouse, so a website needs to be accessible via the keyboard.


If a user does not understand what a site is talking about, or if it makes them feel lost, it has a problem. The site design and user interface should be clear and understandable.

Making content easy to read is one way to make a website understandable. Other methods include site feedback like instructions to complete a form or an error message if a field is missed.


Technology evolves in ways we cannot predict. New devices and browsers come out every day. Developers must keep up with these changes to ensure a robust site.

The best way to make robust, adaptable content is to validate and test functionality regularly so it can be transmitted and interpreted by a wide variety of current and future devices.

Learn more about the rules and your responsibilities in the Learn section of the website