WCAG 2.0 Compliance Auditing

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 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Abstract

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general.

WCAG 2.0 success criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Guidance about satisfying the success criteria in specific technologies, as well as general information about interpreting the success criteria, is provided in separate documents.

WCAG 2.0 succeeds Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [WCAG10], which was published as a W3C Recommendation May 1999. Although it is possible to conform either to WCAG 1.0 or to WCAG 2.0 (or both), the W3C recommends that new and updated content use WCAG 2.0. The W3C also recommends that Web accessibility policies reference WCAG 2.0.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • WCAG 2.0 Layers of Guidance
    • WCAG 2.0 Supporting Documents
    • Important Terms in WCAG 2.0
  • WCAG 2.0 Guidelines
    • 1 Perceivable
      • 1.1 Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
      • 1.2 Provide alternatives for time-based media.
      • 1.3 Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
      • 1.4 Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
    • 2 Operable
      • 2.1 Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
      • 2.2 Provide users enough time to read and use content.
      • 2.3 Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
      • 2.4 Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.
    • 3 Understandable
      • 3.1 Make text content readable and understandable.
      • 3.2 Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
      • 3.3 Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
    • 4 Robust
      • 4.1 Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.
  • Conformance
    • Conformance Requirements
    • Conformance Claims (Optional)
    • Statement of Partial Conformance – Third Party Content
    • Statement of Partial Conformance – Language

Appendices

  • Appendix A: Glossary (Normative)
  • Appendix B: Acknowledgments
  • Appendix C: References

Introduction

This section is informative.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 defines how to make Web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Accessibility involves a wide range of disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning, and neurological disabilities. Although these guidelines cover a wide range of issues, they are not able to address the needs of people with all types, degrees, and combinations of disability. These guidelines also make Web content more usable by older individuals with changing abilities due to aging and often improve usability for users in general.

WCAG 2.0 is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of providing a shared standard for Web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally. WCAG 2.0 builds on WCAG 1.0 [WCAG10] and is designed to apply broadly to different Web technologies now and in the future, and to be testable with a combination of automated testing and human evaluation. For an introduction to WCAG, see the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview.

Web accessibility depends not only on accessible content but also on accessible Web browsers and other user agents. Authoring tools also have an important role in Web accessibility. For an overview of how these components of Web development and interaction work together, see:

  • Essential Components of Web Accessibility
  • User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) Overview
  • Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview

WCAG 2.0 Layers of Guidance

The individuals and organizations that use WCAG vary widely and include Web designers and developers, policy makers, purchasing agents, teachers, and students. In order to meet the varying needs of this audience, several layers of guidance are provided including overall principles, general guidelines, testable success criteria and a rich collection of sufficient techniques, advisory techniques, and documented common failures with examples, resource links and code.

  • Principles – At the top are four principles that provide the foundation for Web accessibility: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. See also Understanding the Four Principles of Accessibility.
  • Guidelines – Under the principles are guidelines. The 12 guidelines provide the basic goals that authors should work toward in order to make content more accessible to users with different disabilities. The guidelines are not testable, but provide the framework and overall objectives to help authors understand the success criteria and better implement the techniques.
  • Success Criteria – For each guideline, testable success criteria are provided to allow WCAG 2.0 to be used where requirements and conformance testing are necessary such as in design specification, purchasing, regulation, and contractual agreements. In order to meet the needs of different groups and different situations, three levels of conformance are defined: A (lowest), AA, and AAA (highest). Additional information on WCAG levels can be found in Understanding Levels of Conformance.
  • Sufficient and Advisory Techniques – For each of the guidelines and success criteria in the WCAG 2.0 document itself, the working group has also documented a wide variety of techniques. The techniques are informative and fall into two categories: those that are sufficient for meeting the success criteria and those that are advisory. The advisory techniques go beyond what is required by the individual success criteria and allow authors to better address the guidelines. Some advisory techniques address accessibility barriers that are not covered by the testable success criteria. Where common failures are known, these are also documented. See also Sufficient and Advisory Techniques in Understanding WCAG 2.0.

All of these layers of guidance (principles, guidelines, success criteria, and sufficient and advisory techniques) work together to provide guidance on how to make content more accessible. Authors are encouraged to view and apply all layers that they are able to, including the advisory techniques, in order to best address the needs of the widest possible range of users.

Note that even content that conforms at the highest level (AAA) will not be accessible to individuals with all types, degrees, or combinations of disability, particularly in the cognitive, language, and learning areas. Authors are encouraged to consider the full range of techniques, including the advisory techniques, as well as to seek relevant advice about current best practice to ensure that Web content is accessible, as far as possible, to this community. Metadata may assist users in finding content most suitable for their needs.

WCAG 2.0 Supporting Documents

The WCAG 2.0 document is designed to meet the needs of those who need a stable, referenceable technical standard. Other documents, called supporting documents, are based on the WCAG 2.0 document and address other important purposes, including the ability to be updated to describe how WCAG would be applied with new technologies. Supporting documents include:

  1. How to Meet WCAG 2.0 – A customizable quick reference to WCAG 2.0 that includes all of the guidelines, success criteria, and techniques for authors to use as they are developing and evaluating Web content.
  2. Understanding WCAG 2.0 – A guide to understanding and implementing WCAG 2.0. There is a short “Understanding” document for each guideline and success criterion in WCAG 2.0 as well as key topics.
  3. Techniques for WCAG 2.0 – A collection of techniques and common failures, each in a separate document that includes a description, examples, code and tests.
  4. The WCAG 2.0 Documents – A diagram and description of how the technical documents are related and linked.

See Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview for a description of the WCAG 2.0 supporting material, including education resources related to WCAG 2.0. Additional resources covering topics such as the business case for Web accessibility, planning implementation to improve the accessibility of Web sites, and accessibility policies are listed in WAI Resources.

Important Terms in WCAG 2.0

WCAG 2.0 includes three important terms that are different from WCAG 1.0. Each of these is introduced briefly below and defined more fully in the glossary.

Web Page

It is important to note that, in this standard, the term “Web page” includes much more than static HTML pages. It also includes the increasingly dynamic Web pages that are emerging on the Web, including “pages” that can present entire virtual interactive communities. For example, the term “Web page” includes an immersive, interactive movie-like experience found at a single URI. For more information, see Understanding “Web Page”.

Programmatically Determined

Several success criteria require that content (or certain aspects of content) can be “programmatically determined.” This means that the content is delivered in such a way that user agents, including assistive technologies, can extract and present this information to users in different modalities. For more information, see Understanding Programmatically Determined.

Accessibility Supported

Using a technology in a way that is accessibility supported means that it works with assistive technologies (AT) and the accessibility features of operating systems, browsers, and other user agents. Technology features can only be relied upon to conform to WCAG 2.0 success criteria if they are used in a way that is “accessibility supported”. Technology features can be used in ways that are not accessibility supported (do not work with assistive technologies, etc.) as long as they are not relied upon to conform to any success criterion (i.e., the same information or functionality is also available another way that is supported).

The definition of “accessibility supported” is provided in the Appendix A: Glossary section of these guidelines. For more information, see Understanding Accessibility Support.

WCAG 2.0 Guidelines

This section is normative.

Principle 1: Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.

Understanding Guideline 1.1

1.1.1 Non-text Content: All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose, except for the situations listed below. (Level A)

  • Controls, Input: If non-text content is a control or accepts user input, then it has a name that describes its purpose. (Refer to Success Criterion 4.1.2 for additional requirements for controls and content that accepts user input.)
  • Time-Based Media: If non-text content is time-based media, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content. (Refer to Guideline 1.2 for additional requirements for media.)
  • Test: If non-text content is a test or exercise that would be invalid if presented in text, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.
  • Sensory: If non-text content is primarily intended to create a specific sensory experience, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.
  • CAPTCHA: If the purpose of non-text content is to confirm that content is being accessed by a person rather than a computer, then text alternatives that identify and describe the purpose of the non-text content are provided, and alternative forms of CAPTCHA using output modes for different types of sensory perception are provided to accommodate different disabilities.
  • Decoration, Formatting, Invisible: If non-text content is pure decoration, is used only for visual formatting, or is not presented to users, then it is implemented in a way that it can be ignored by assistive technology.

How to Meet 1.1.1 | Understanding 1.1.1

Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media: Provide alternatives for time-based media.

Understanding Guideline 1.2

1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded): For prerecorded audio-only and prerecorded video-only media, the following are true, except when the audio or video is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such: (Level A)

  • Prerecorded Audio-only: An alternative for time-based media is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded audio-only content.
  • Prerecorded Video-only: Either an alternative for time-based media or an audio track is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded video-only content.

How to Meet 1.2.1 | Understanding 1.2.1

1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded): Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)

How to Meet 1.2.2 | Understanding 1.2.2

1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded): An alternative for time-based media or audio description of the prerecorded video content is provided for synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)

How to Meet 1.2.3 | Understanding 1.2.3

1.2.4 Captions (Live): Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media. (Level AA)

How to Meet 1.2.4 | Understanding 1.2.4

1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded): Audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content in synchronized media. (Level AA)

How to Meet 1.2.5 | Understanding 1.2.5

1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded): Sign language interpretation is provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 1.2.6 | Understanding 1.2.6

1.2.7 Extended Audio Description (Prerecorded): Where pauses in foreground audio are insufficient to allow audio descriptions to convey the sense of the video, extended audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content in synchronized media. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 1.2.7 | Understanding 1.2.7

1.2.8 Media Alternative (Prerecorded): An alternative for time-based media is provided for all prerecorded synchronized media and for all prerecorded video-only media. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 1.2.8 | Understanding 1.2.8

1.2.9 Audio-only (Live): An alternative for time-based media that presents equivalent information for live audio-only content is provided. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 1.2.9 | Understanding 1.2.9

Guideline 1.3 Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.

Understanding Guideline 1.3

1.3.1 Info and Relationships: Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text. (Level A)

How to Meet 1.3.1 | Understanding 1.3.1

1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence: When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined. (Level A)

How to Meet 1.3.2 | Understanding 1.3.2

1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics: Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. (Level A)

Note: For requirements related to color, refer to Guideline 1.4.

How to Meet 1.3.3 | Understanding 1.3.3

Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

Understanding Guideline 1.4

1.4.1 Use of Color: Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element. (Level A)

Note: This success criterion addresses color perception specifically. Other forms of perception are covered in Guideline 1.3 including programmatic access to color and other visual presentation coding.

How to Meet 1.4.1 | Understanding 1.4.1

1.4.2 Audio Control: If any audio on a Web page plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, either a mechanism is available to pause or stop the audio, or a mechanism is available to control audio volume independently from the overall system volume level. (Level A)

Note: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether or not it is used to meet other success criteria) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

How to Meet 1.4.2 | Understanding 1.4.2

1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum): The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for the following: (Level AA)

  • Large Text: Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1;
  • Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have no contrast requirement.
  • Logotypes: Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no contrast requirement.

How to Meet 1.4.3 | Understanding 1.4.3

1.4.4 Resize text: Except for captions and images of text, text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality. (Level AA)

How to Meet 1.4.4 | Understanding 1.4.4

1.4.5 Images of Text: If the technologies being used can achieve the visual presentation, text is used to convey information rather than images of text except for the following: (Level AA)

  • Customizable: The image of text can be visually customized to the user’s requirements;
  • Essential: A particular presentation of text is essential to the information being conveyed.

Note: Logotypes (text that is part of a logo or brand name) are considered essential.

How to Meet 1.4.5 | Understanding 1.4.5

1.4.6 Contrast (Enhanced): The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 7:1, except for the following: (Level AAA)

  • Large Text: Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1;
  • Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have no contrast requirement.
  • Logotypes: Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no minimum contrast requirement.

How to Meet 1.4.6 | Understanding 1.4.6

1.4.7 Low or No Background Audio: For prerecorded audio-only content that (1) contains primarily speech in the foreground, (2) is not an audio CAPTCHA or audio logo, and (3) is not vocalization intended to be primarily musical expression such as singing or rapping, at least one of the following is true: (Level AAA)

  • No Background: The audio does not contain background sounds.
  • Turn Off: The background sounds can be turned off.
  • 20 dB: The background sounds are at least 20 decibels lower than the foreground speech content, with the exception of occasional sounds that last for only one or two seconds.

Note: Per the definition of “decibel,” background sound that meets this requirement will be approximately four times quieter than the foreground speech content.

How to Meet 1.4.7 | Understanding 1.4.7

1.4.8 Visual Presentation: For the visual presentation of blocks of text, a mechanism is available to achieve the following: (Level AAA)

  1. Foreground and background colors can be selected by the user.
  2. Width is no more than 80 characters or glyphs (40 if CJK).
  3. Text is not justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins).
  4. Line spacing (leading) is at least space-and-a-half within paragraphs, and paragraph spacing is at least 1.5 times larger than the line spacing.
  5. Text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent in a way that does not require the user to scroll horizontally to read a line of text on a full-screen window.

How to Meet 1.4.8 | Understanding 1.4.8

1.4.9 Images of Text (No Exception): Images of text are only used for pure decoration or where a particular presentation of text is essential to the information being conveyed. (Level AAA)

Note: Logotypes (text that is part of a logo or brand name) are considered essential.

How to Meet 1.4.9 | Understanding 1.4.9

Principle 2: Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.

Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.

Understanding Guideline 2.1

2.1.1 Keyboard: All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user’s movement and not just the endpoints. (Level A)

Note 1: This exception relates to the underlying function, not the input technique. For example, if using handwriting to enter text, the input technique (handwriting) requires path-dependent input but the underlying function (text input) does not.

Note 2: This does not forbid and should not discourage providing mouse input or other input methods in addition to keyboard operation.

How to Meet 2.1.1 | Understanding 2.1.1

2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap: If keyboard focus can be moved to a component of the page using a keyboard interface, then focus can be moved away from that component using only a keyboard interface, and, if it requires more than unmodified arrow or tab keys or other standard exit methods, the user is advised of the method for moving focus away. (Level A)

Note: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether it is used to meet other success criteria or not) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

How to Meet 2.1.2 | Understanding 2.1.2

2.1.3 Keyboard (No Exception): All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 2.1.3 | Understanding 2.1.3

Guideline 2.2 Enough Time: Provide users enough time to read and use content.

Understanding Guideline 2.2

2.2.1 Timing Adjustable: For each time limit that is set by the content, at least one of the following is true: (Level A)

  • Turn off: The user is allowed to turn off the time limit before encountering it; or
  • Adjust: The user is allowed to adjust the time limit before encountering it over a wide range that is at least ten times the length of the default setting; or
  • Extend: The user is warned before time expires and given at least 20 seconds to extend the time limit with a simple action (for example, “press the space bar”), and the user is allowed to extend the time limit at least ten times; or
  • Real-time Exception: The time limit is a required part of a real-time event (for example, an auction), and no alternative to the time limit is possible; or
  • Essential Exception: The time limit is essential and extending it would invalidate the activity; or
  • 20 Hour Exception: The time limit is longer than 20 hours.

Note: This success criterion helps ensure that users can complete tasks without unexpected changes in content or context that are a result of a time limit. This success criterion should be considered in conjunction with Success Criterion 3.2.1, which puts limits on changes of content or context as a result of user action.

How to Meet 2.2.1 | Understanding 2.2.1

2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide: For moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating information, all of the following are true: (Level A)

  • Moving, blinking, scrolling: For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it unless the movement, blinking, or scrolling is part of an activity where it is essential; and
  • Auto-updating: For any auto-updating information that (1) starts automatically and (2) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it or to control the frequency of the update unless the auto-updating is part of an activity where it is essential.

Note 1: For requirements related to flickering or flashing content, refer to Guideline 2.3.

Note 2: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether it is used to meet other success criteria or not) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

Note 3: Content that is updated periodically by software or that is streamed to the user agent is not required to preserve or present information that is generated or received between the initiation of the pause and resuming presentation, as this may not be technically possible, and in many situations could be misleading to do so.

Note 4: An animation that occurs as part of a preload phase or similar situation can be considered essential if interaction cannot occur during that phase for all users and if not indicating progress could confuse users or cause them to think that content was frozen or broken.

How to Meet 2.2.2 | Understanding 2.2.2

2.2.3 No Timing: Timing is not an essential part of the event or activity presented by the content, except for non-interactive synchronized media and real-time events. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 2.2.3 | Understanding 2.2.3

2.2.4 Interruptions: Interruptions can be postponed or suppressed by the user, except interruptions involving an emergency. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 2.2.4 | Understanding 2.2.4

2.2.5 Re-authenticating: When an authenticated session expires, the user can continue the activity without loss of data after re-authenticating. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 2.2.5 | Understanding 2.2.5

Guideline 2.3 Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.

Understanding Guideline 2.3

2.3.1 Three Flashes or Below Threshold: Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period, or the flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds. (Level A)

Note: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether it is used to meet other success criteria or not) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

How to Meet 2.3.1 | Understanding 2.3.1

2.3.2 Three Flashes: Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 2.3.2 | Understanding 2.3.2

Guideline 2.4 Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

Understanding Guideline 2.4

2.4.1 Bypass Blocks: A mechanism is available to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple Web pages. (Level A)

How to Meet 2.4.1 | Understanding 2.4.1

2.4.2 Page Titled: Web pages have titles that describe topic or purpose. (Level A)

How to Meet 2.4.2 | Understanding 2.4.2

2.4.3 Focus Order: If a Web page can be navigated sequentially and the navigation sequences affect meaning or operation, focusable components receive focus in an order that preserves meaning and operability. (Level A)

How to Meet 2.4.3 | Understanding 2.4.3

2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context): The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general. (Level A)

How to Meet 2.4.4 | Understanding 2.4.4

2.4.5 Multiple Ways: More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process. (Level AA)

How to Meet 2.4.5 | Understanding 2.4.5

2.4.6 Headings and Labels: Headings and labels describe topic or purpose. (Level AA)

How to Meet 2.4.6 | Understanding 2.4.6

2.4.7 Focus Visible: Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible. (Level AA)

How to Meet 2.4.7 | Understanding 2.4.7

2.4.8 Location: Information about the user’s location within a set of Web pages is available. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 2.4.8 | Understanding 2.4.8

2.4.9 Link Purpose (Link Only): A mechanism is available to allow the purpose of each link to be identified from link text alone, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 2.4.9 | Understanding 2.4.9

2.4.10 Section Headings: Section headings are used to organize the content. (Level AAA)

Note 1: “Heading” is used in its general sense and includes titles and other ways to add a heading to different types of content.

Note 2: This success criterion covers sections within writing, not user interface components. User Interface components are covered under Success Criterion 4.1.2.

How to Meet 2.4.10 | Understanding 2.4.10

Principle 3: Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

Guideline 3.1 Readable: Make text content readable and understandable.

Understanding Guideline 3.1

3.1.1 Language of Page: The default human language of each Web page can be programmatically determined. (Level A)

How to Meet 3.1.1 | Understanding 3.1.1

3.1.2 Language of Parts: The human language of each passage or phrase in the content can be programmatically determined except for proper names, technical terms, words of indeterminate language, and words or phrases that have become part of the vernacular of the immediately surrounding text. (Level AA)

How to Meet 3.1.2 | Understanding 3.1.2

3.1.3 Unusual Words: A mechanism is available for identifying specific definitions of words or phrases used in an unusual or restricted way, including idioms and jargon. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 3.1.3 | Understanding 3.1.3

3.1.4 Abbreviations: A mechanism for identifying the expanded form or meaning of abbreviations is available. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 3.1.4 | Understanding 3.1.4

3.1.5 Reading Level: When text requires reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level after removal of proper names and titles, supplemental content, or a version that does not require reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level, is available. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 3.1.5 | Understanding 3.1.5

3.1.6 Pronunciation: A mechanism is available for identifying specific pronunciation of words where meaning of the words, in context, is ambiguous without knowing the pronunciation. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 3.1.6 | Understanding 3.1.6

Guideline 3.2 Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

Understanding Guideline 3.2

3.2.1 On Focus: When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context. (Level A)

How to Meet 3.2.1 | Understanding 3.2.1

3.2.2 On Input: Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context unless the user has been advised of the behavior before using the component. (Level A)

How to Meet 3.2.2 | Understanding 3.2.2

3.2.3 Consistent Navigation: Navigational mechanisms that are repeated on multiple Web pages within a set of Web pages occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user. (Level AA)

How to Meet 3.2.3 | Understanding 3.2.3

3.2.4 Consistent Identification: Components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently. (Level AA)

How to Meet 3.2.4 | Understanding 3.2.4

3.2.5 Change on Request: Changes of context are initiated only by user request or a mechanism is available to turn off such changes. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 3.2.5 | Understanding 3.2.5

Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

Understanding Guideline 3.3

3.3.1 Error Identification: If an input error is automatically detected, the item that is in error is identified and the error is described to the user in text. (Level A)

How to Meet 3.3.1 | Understanding 3.3.1

3.3.2 Labels or Instructions: Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input. (Level A)

How to Meet 3.3.2 | Understanding 3.3.2

3.3.3 Error Suggestion: If an input error is automatically detected and suggestions for correction are known, then the suggestions are provided to the user, unless it would jeopardize the security or purpose of the content. (Level AA)

How to Meet 3.3.3 | Understanding 3.3.3

3.3.4 Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data): For Web pages that cause legal commitments or financial transactions for the user to occur, that modify or delete user-controllable data in data storage systems, or that submit user test responses, at least one of the following is true: (Level AA)

  1. Reversible: Submissions are reversible.
  2. Checked: Data entered by the user is checked for input errors and the user is provided an opportunity to correct them.
  3. Confirmed: A mechanism is available for reviewing, confirming, and correcting information before finalizing the submission.

How to Meet 3.3.4 | Understanding 3.3.4

3.3.5 Help: Context-sensitive help is available. (Level AAA)

How to Meet 3.3.5 | Understanding 3.3.5

3.3.6 Error Prevention (All): For Web pages that require the user to submit information, at least one of the following is true: (Level AAA)

  1. Reversible: Submissions are reversible.
  2. Checked: Data entered by the user is checked for input errors and the user is provided an opportunity to correct them.
  3. Confirmed: A mechanism is available for reviewing, confirming, and correcting information before finalizing the submission.

How to Meet 3.3.6 | Understanding 3.3.6

Principle 4: Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

Guideline 4.1 Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

Understanding Guideline 4.1

4.1.1 Parsing: In content implemented using markup languages, elements have complete start and end tags, elements are nested according to their specifications, elements do not contain duplicate attributes, and any IDs are unique, except where the specifications allow these features. (Level A)

Note: Start and end tags that are missing a critical character in their formation, such as a closing angle bracket or a mismatched attribute value quotation mark are not complete.

How to Meet 4.1.1 | Understanding 4.1.1

4.1.2 Name, Role, Value: For all user interface components (including but not limited to: form elements, links and components generated by scripts), the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies. (Level A)

Note: This success criterion is primarily for Web authors who develop or script their own user interface components. For example, standard HTML controls already meet this success criterion when used according to specification.

How to Meet 4.1.2 | Understanding 4.1.2

Conformance

This section is normative.

This section lists requirements for conformance to WCAG 2.0. It also gives information about how to make conformance claims, which are optional. Finally, it describes what it means to be accessibility supported, since only accessibility-supported ways of using technologies can be relied upon for conformance. Understanding Conformance includes further explanation of the accessibility-supported concept.

Conformance Requirements

In order for a Web page to conform to WCAG 2.0, all of the following conformance requirements must be satisfied:

  1. Conformance Level: One of the following levels of conformance is met in full.
  • Level A: For Level A conformance (the minimum level of conformance), the Web page satisfies all the Level A Success Criteria, or a conforming alternate version is provided.
  • Level AA: For Level AA conformance, the Web page satisfies all the Level A and Level AA Success Criteria, or a Level AA conforming alternate version is provided.
  • Level AAA: For Level AAA conformance, the Web page satisfies all the Level A, Level AA and Level AAA Success Criteria, or a Level AAA conforming alternate version is provided.

Note 1: Although conformance can only be achieved at the stated levels, authors are encouraged to report (in their claim) any progress toward meeting success criteria from all levels beyond the achieved level of conformance.

Note 2: It is not recommended that Level AAA conformance be required as a general policy for entire sites because it is not possible to satisfy all Level AAA Success Criteria for some content.

  1. Full pages: Conformance (and conformance level) is for full Web page(s) only, and cannot be achieved if part of a Web page is excluded.

Note 1: For the purpose of determining conformance, alternatives to part of a page’s content are considered part of the page when the alternatives can be obtained directly from the page, e.g., a long description or an alternative presentation of a video.

Note 2: Authors of Web pages that cannot conform due to content outside of the author’s control may consider a Statement of Partial Conformance.

  1. Complete processes: When a Web page is one of a series of Web pages presenting a process (i.e., a sequence of steps that need to be completed in order to accomplish an activity), all Web pages in the process conform at the specified level or better. (Conformance is not possible at a particular level if any page in the process does not conform at that level or better.)

Example: An online store has a series of pages that are used to select and purchase products. All pages in the series from start to finish (checkout) conform in order for any page that is part of the process to conform.

  1. Only Accessibility-Supported Ways of Using Technologies: Only accessibility-supported ways of using technologies are relied upon to satisfy the success criteria. Any information or functionality that is provided in a way that is not accessibility supported is also available in a way that is accessibility supported. (See Understanding accessibility support.)
  2. Non-Interference: If technologies are used in a way that is not accessibility supported, or if they are used in a non-conforming way, then they do not block the ability of users to access the rest of the page. In addition, the Web page as a whole continues to meet the conformance requirements under each of the following conditions:
  1. when any technology that is not relied upon is turned on in a user agent,
  2. when any technology that is not relied upon is turned off in a user agent, and
  3. when any technology that is not relied upon is not supported by a user agent

In addition, the following success criteria apply to all content on the page, including content that is not otherwise relied upon to meet conformance, because failure to meet them could interfere with any use of the page:

  • 1.4.2 – Audio Control,
  • 2.1.2 – No Keyboard Trap,
  • 2.3.1 – Three Flashes or Below Threshold, and
  • 2.2.2 – Pause, Stop, Hide.

Note: If a page cannot conform (for example, a conformance test page or an example page), it cannot be included in the scope of conformance or in a conformance claim.

For more information, including examples, see Understanding Conformance Requirements.

Conformance Claims (Optional)

Conformance is defined only for Web pages. However, a conformance claim may be made to cover one page, a series of pages, or multiple related Web pages.

Required Components of a Conformance Claim

Conformance claims are not required. Authors can conform to WCAG 2.0 without making a claim. However, if a conformance claim is made, then the conformance claim must include the following information:

  1. Date of the claim
  2. Guidelines title, version and URI “Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/”
  3. Conformance level satisfied: (Level A, AA or AAA)
  4. A concise description of the Web pages, such as a list of URIs for which the claim is made, including whether subdomains are included in the claim.

Note 1: The Web pages may be described by list or by an expression that describes all of the URIs included in the claim.

Note 2: Web-based products that do not have a URI prior to installation on the customer’s Web site may have a statement that the product would conform when installed.

  1. A list of the Web content technologies relied upon.

Note: If a conformance logo is used, it would constitute a claim and must be accompanied by the required components of a conformance claim listed above.

Optional Components of a Conformance Claim

In addition to the required components of a conformance claim above, consider providing additional information to assist users. Recommended additional information includes:

  • A list of success criteria beyond the level of conformance claimed that have been met. This information should be provided in a form that users can use, preferably machine-readable metadata.
  • A list of the specific technologies that are “used but not relied upon.”
  • A list of user agents, including assistive technologies that were used to test the content.
  • Information about any additional steps taken that go beyond the success criteria to enhance accessibility.
  • A machine-readable metadata version of the list of specific technologies that are relied upon.
  • A machine-readable metadata version of the conformance claim.

Note 1: Refer to Understanding Conformance Claims for more information and example conformance claims.

Note 2: Refer to Understanding Metadata for more information about the use of metadata in conformance claims.

Statement of Partial Conformance – Third Party Content

Sometimes, Web pages are created that will later have additional content added to them. For example, an email program, a blog, an article that allows users to add comments, or applications supporting user-contributed content. Another example would be a page, such as a portal or news site, composed of content aggregated from multiple contributors, or sites that automatically insert content from other sources over time, such as when advertisements are inserted dynamically.

In these cases, it is not possible to know at the time of original posting what the uncontrolled content of the pages will be. It is important to note that the uncontrolled content can affect the accessibility of the controlled content as well. Two options are available:

  1. A determination of conformance can be made based on best knowledge. If a page of this type is monitored and repaired (non-conforming content is removed or brought into conformance) within two business days, then a determination or claim of conformance can be made since, except for errors in externally contributed content which are corrected or removed when encountered, the page conforms. No conformance claim can be made if it is not possible to monitor or correct non-conforming content;

OR

  1. A “statement of partial conformance” may be made that the page does not conform, but could conform if certain parts were removed. The form of that statement would be, “This page does not conform, but would conform to WCAG 2.0 at level X if the following parts from uncontrolled sources were removed.” In addition, the following would also be true of uncontrolled content that is described in the statement of partial conformance:
    1. It is not content that is under the author’s control.
    2. It is described in a way that users can identify (e.g., they cannot be described as “all parts that we do not control” unless they are clearly marked as such.)

Statement of Partial Conformance – Language

A “statement of partial conformance due to language” may be made when the page does not conform, but would conform if accessibility support existed for (all of) the language(s) used on the page. The form of that statement would be, “This page does not conform, but would conform to WCAG 2.0 at level X if accessibility support existed for the following language(s):”

 

[Text courtesy of W3.org]

WCAG 2.0
WCAG

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