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NOTE: The following is NOT the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. It is, however, a simple checklist that presents our recommendations for implementing HTML-related principles and techniques for those seeking WCAG 2.0 conformance.
This checklist cannot be used to verify conformance with WCAG 2.0. You must reference official WCAG 2.0 documentation to determine any level of conformance or non-conformance.
This checklist should not be referenced in policies or in policy adoption. While this is a useful resource for technical implementation of WCAG for HTML content, it is not a useful policy checklist. Official WCAG 2.0 documentation provides much better mechanisms for implementing accessibility into policy or law.
WCAG 2.0 covers accessibility of all web content and is not technology specific. The language of this checklist has been targeted primarily for evaluation of HTML content. It is, therefore, fairly limited and subject to technology changes, whereas WCAG 2.0 is much less so.
This checklist contains WebAIM’s interpretation of WCAG guidelines and success criteria and our own recommended techniques for satisfying those success criteria. The first column of the table below links to the official WCAG 2.0 success criteria.
Perceivable Web content is made available to the senses – sight, hearing, and/or touch
Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content
All images, form image buttons, and image map hot spots have appropriate, equivalent alternative text.
Images that do not convey content, are decorative, or contain content that is already conveyed in text are given null alt text (alt=””) or implemented as CSS backgrounds. All linked images have descriptive alternative text.
Equivalent alternatives to complex images are provided in context or on a separate (linked and/or referenced via longdesc) page.
Semantic markup is used to designate headings (<h1>), lists (<ul>, <ol>, and <dl>), emphasized or special text (<strong>, <code>, <abbr>, <blockquote>, for example), etc. Semantic markup is used appropriately.
Tables are used for tabular data. Where necessary, data cells are associated with their headers. Data table captions and summaries are used where appropriate.
Text labels are associated with form input elements. Related form elements are grouped with fieldset/legend.
Color is not used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements.
Color alone is not used to distinguish links from surrounding text unless the luminance contrast between the link and the surrounding text is at least 3:1 and an additional differentiation (e.g., it becomes underlined) is provided when the link is hovered over or receives focus.
If a page or application has a time limit, the user is given options to turn off, adjust, or extend that time limit. This is not a requirement for real-time events (e.g., an auction), where the time limit is absolutely required, or if the time limit is longer than 20 hours.
Automatically moving, blinking, or scrolling content that lasts longer than 5 seconds can be paused, stopped, or hidden by the user. Moving, blinking, or scrolling can be used to draw attention to or highlight content as long as it lasts less than 5 seconds.
Automatically updating content (e.g., automatically redirecting or refreshing a page, a news ticker, AJAX updated field, a notification alert, etc.) can be paused, stopped, or hidden by the user or the user can manually control the timing of the updates.
The purpose of each link (or form image button or image map hotspot) can be determined from the link text alone, or from the link text and its context (e.g., surrounding paragraph, list item, table cell, or table headers).
Links (or form image buttons) with the same text that go to different locations are readily distinguishable.
Page headings and labels for form and interactive controls are informative. Avoid duplicating heading (e.g., “More Details”) or label text (e.g., “First Name”) unless the structure provides adequate differentiation between them.
If a web page is part of a sequence of pages or within a complex site structure, an indication of the current page location is provided, for example, through breadcrumbs or specifying the current step in a sequence (e.g., “Step 2 of 5 – Shipping Address”).
Expansions for abbreviations are provided by expanding or explaining the definition the first time it is used, using the <abbr> element, or linking to a definition or glossary. NOTE: WCAG 2.0 gives no exception for regularly understood abbreviations (e.g., “HTML” on a web design site must always be expanded).
When a page element receives focus, it does not result in a substantial change to the page, the spawning of a pop-up window, an additional change of keyboard focus, or any other change that could confuse or disorient the user.
When a user inputs information or interacts with a control, it does not result in a substantial change to the page, the spawning of a pop-up window, an additional change of keyboard focus, or any other change that could confuse or disorient the user unless the user is informed of the change ahead of time.
Substantial changes to the page, the spawning of pop-up windows, uncontrolled changes of keyboard focus, or any other change that could confuse or disorient the user must be initiated by the user. Alternatively, the user is provided an option to disable such changes.
Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes
Required form elements or form elements that require a specific format, value, or length provide this information within the element’s label.
If utilized, form validation errors are presented in an efficient, intuitive, and accessible manner. The error is clearly identified, quick access to the problematic element is provided, and user is allowed to easily fix the error and resubmit the form.
As an expert in marketing, branding, advertising, social media, graphic design and website development, Jeremy trains corporate, entertainment industry, real estate, start-up and nonprofit C-suite and V-suite executives. Jeremy leads summits and seminars that show professionals how to launch successful marketing campaigns and manage effective promotions. He coaches and consults teams and individuals in the areas of business development, brand strategy and social media. Jeremy is a Spartan racer, charismatic connector and master networker. His presentations are highly motivational and energizing, showing teams how to overcome obstacles and develop a shared vision. Jeremy draws on his experience at Universal Television and Xerox Corporation to train senior managers of Fortune 500 companies.