Accessibility for Content

As we build products and services for Singaporeans, no one should be left behind. Whether it means building public kiosks for those who don't have internet access, ensuring legibility of content or writing things in an understandable manner.


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

Implementing Content Design

Most accessibility principles can be implemented very easily and will not impact the overall "look and feel" of a web site.

Provide informative, unique page titles

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 headings to convey meaning & structure

Use short headings to group related paragraphs and clearly describe the sections. Good headings provide an outline of the content.

Make link text meaningful

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)'.

Write meaningful text alternatives for images

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.

Create transcripts & captions for multimedia

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 easily identifiable feedback

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.

Provide clear instructions

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.

Keep content clear & concise

Use simple language and formatting, as appropriate for the context.

  • Write in short, clear sentences and paragraphs
  • Avoid using unnecessarily complex words and phrases. Consider providing a glossary for terms readers may not know
  • Expand acronyms on first use. For example, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
  • Consider providing a glossary for terms readers may not know
  • Use list formatting as appropriate
  • Consider using images, illustrations, video, audio, and symbols to help clarify meaning


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