Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0)

Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives

1.1.1 Non-text Content – Level A

  • All images, form image buttons, and image map hotspots 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.
  • Form buttons have a descriptive value.
  • Form inputs have associated text labels.
  • Frames are appropriately titled.

Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media

1.2.1 Prerecorded Audio-only and Video-only – Level A

  • A text or audio description is provided for non-live, web-based video-only (e.g., video that has no audio track)

1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) – Level A

  • Synchronized captions are provided for non-live, web-based video (YouTube videos, etc.)

Guideline 1.3 Adaptable

1.3.1 Info and Relationships – Level A

  • 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.
  • Text labels are associated with form input elements. Related form elements are grouped with fieldset/legend.

1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence – Level A

  • The reading and navigation order (determined by code order) is logical and intuitive. 

1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics – Level A

  • Instructions do not rely upon shape, size, or visual location (e.g., “Click the square icon to continue” or “Instructions are in the right-hand column”)
    Instructions do not rely upon sound (e.g., “A beeping sound indicates you may continue.”)

Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable

1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) – Level AA

  • Text and images of text have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1
  • Large text – at least 18 point (typically 24px) or 14 point (typically 18.66px) bold has a contrast ratio of at least 3:1

1.4.4 Resize text – Level AA

  • The page is readable and functional when the text size is doubled.

1.4.5 Images of Text – Level AA

  • If the same visual presentation can be made using text alone, an image is not used to present that text. 

Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible

2.1.1 Keyboard – Level A

  • All page functionality is available using the keyboard, unless the functionality cannot be accomplished in any known way using a keyboard (e.g., free hand drawing)

2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap – Level A

  • Keyboard focus is never locked or trapped at one particular page element. The user can navigate to and from all navigable page elements using only a keyboard.

Guideline 2.4 Navigable

2.4.1 Bypass Blocks -Level A

  • A link is provided to skip navigation and other page elements that are repeated across web pages.
  • If a page has a proper heading structure, this may be considered a sufficient technique instead of a “Skip to main content” link. Note that navigating by headings is not yet supported in all browsers.
  • If a page uses frames and the frames are appropriately titled, this is a sufficient technique for bypassing individual frames

2.4.2 Page Titled – Level A

  • The web page has a descriptive and informative page title.

2.4.3 Focus Order – Level A

  • The navigation order of links, form elements, etc. is logical and intuitive.

2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) – Level A

  • 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.

2.4.5 Multiple Ways – Level AA

  • Multiple ways are available to find other web pages on the site – at least two of: a list of related pages, table of contents, site map, site search, or list of all available web pages.

2.4.6 Headings and Labels – Level AA

  • 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.

2.4.7 Focus Visible – Level AA

  • It is visually apparent which page element has the current keyboard focus (i.e., as you tab through the page, you can see where you are)

Guideline 3.1 Readable

3.1.1 Language of Page – Level A

  • The language of the page is identified using the HTML lang attribute (<html lang=”en”>, for example)

Guideline 3.2 Predictable

3.2.1 On Focus – Level A

  • 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

3.2.2 On Input – Level A

  • 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.

3.2.3 Consistent Navigation – Level AA

  • Navigation links that are repeated on web pages do not change order when navigating through the site.

3.2.4 Consistent Identification – Level AA

  • Elements that have the same functionality across multiple web pages are consistently identified. For example, a search box at the top of the site should always be labeled the same way. 

Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance

 

3.3.1 Error Identification – Level A

  • 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.

3.3.2 Labels or Instructions – Level A

  • Sufficient labels, cues, and instructions for required interactive elements are provided via instructions, examples, properly positioned form labels, and/or fieldsets/legends.

3.3.3 Error Suggestion – Level AA

  • If an input error is detected (via client-side or server-side validation), provide suggestions for fixing the input in a timely and accessible manner.

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