The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), provide an international set of guidelines which form the basis of most web accessibility laws in the world.
Available to the senses (vision and hearing primarily) either through the browser or through assistive technologies.
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
Time-based media: Provide alternatives for time-based media
Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways
Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background
Users can interact with all controls and interactive elements using either the mouse, keyboard, or an assistive device.
Keyboard accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard
Enough time: Provide users enough time to read and use content, no timing, interruptions can be postponed or suppressed by the user except interruptions involving an emergency, when an authenticated session expires, the user can continue the activity without loss of data after re-authenticating
Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures, nothing that flashes more than three times in any one second period
Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are, bypass blocks, page titles, focus order, link purpose from text alone, breadcrumbs
Content is clear and limits confusion and ambiguity.
Readable: Make text content readable and understandable, identifying specific definitions of words or phrases used in an unusual or restricted way, including idioms and jargon, abbreviations, difficult pronunciations
Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways, consistent navigation, consistent identification
Input assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes, error prevention – reversible, checked, confirmed
A wide range of technologies can access the content.
Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies. Elements have complete start and end tags, no duplicate attributes, IDs are unique. For all UI components, the name and role can be programmatically determined
Most accessibility principles can be implemented very easily and will not impact the overall "look and feel" of a web site.
For each web page, provide a short title that describes the page content and distinguishes it from other pages. The page title is often the same as the main heading of the page.
Put the unique and most relevant information first; for example, put the name of the page before the name of the organization. For pages that are part of a multi-step process, include the current step in the page title.
Use short headings to group related paragraphs and clearly describe the sections. Good headings provide an outline of the content.
Write link text so that it describes the content of the link target. Avoid using ambiguous link text, such as 'click here' or 'read more'. Indicate relevant information about the link target, such as document type and size, for example, 'Proposal Documents (RTF, 20MB)'.
For every image, write alternative text that provides the information or function of the image. For purely decorative images, there is no need to write alternative text.
For audio-only content, such a podcast, provide a transcript. For audio and visual content, such as training videos, also provide captions. Include in the transcripts and captions the spoken information and sounds that are important for understanding the content, for example, 'door creaks'. For video transcripts, also include a description of the important visual content, for example 'Athan leaves the room'.
Provide feedback for interactions, such as confirming form submission, alerting the user when something goes wrong, or notifying the user of changes on the page. Instructions should be easy to identify. Important feedback that requires user action should be presented in a prominent style.
Ensure that instructions, guidance, and error messages are clear, easy to understand, and avoid unnecessarily technical language. Describe input requirements, such as date formats. Instructions communicate what information the user should provide. Error indicates what the problem is and, possibly, how to fix it.
Use simple language and formatting, as appropriate for the context.
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