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WCAG 2.0 – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

W3C WCAG 2.0

When designing web sites and portals make sure to also address general accessibility issues governed for instance by the WCAG 2.0 – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

WCAG 2.0 – Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Basically, the WCAG is composed of three priority levels:

  1. Level A (beginner),
  2. Level AA (intermediate)
  3. Level AAA (advanced)

Each level adds additional requirements concerning the four guidelines principles

  1. perceivable
  2. operable
  3. understandable
  4. robust

Perceivable (section 1.1 Text alternatives through 1.4 Distinguishable) defines that

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

Operable (section 2.1 Operable through 2.4 Navigable) makes sure that

User Interface components and navigation must be operable.

Understandable (section 3.1 Readable through 3.3 Input Assistence) defines that

Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

Robust (section 4.1 Compatible) finally makes sure that

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

WCAG 2.0 – Checklists

Below you find checklists for each WACG level published by Luke McGrath that outlines the guidelines to make websites WCAG conformant. Following the checklist for each of the levels you find online tools that enable you to check websites for conformance.

WCAG 2.0 – Checklist Level A (Beginner)

1.1.1 – Non-text ContentProvide text alternatives for non-text content
1.2.1 – Audio-only and Video-only (Pre-recorded)Provide an alternative to video-only and audio-only content
1.2.2 – Captions (Pre-recorded)Provide captions for videos with audio
1.2.3 – Audio Description or Media Alternative (Pre-recorded)Video with audio has a second alternative
1.3.1 – Info and RelationshipsLogical structure
1.3.2 – Meaningful SequencePresent content in a meaningful order
1.3.3 – Sensory CharacteristicsUse more than one sense for instructions
1.4.1 – Use of ColourDon’t use presentation that relies solely on colour
1.4.2 – Audio ControlDon’t play audio automatically
2.1.1 – KeyboardAccessible by keyboard only
2.1.2 – No Keyboard TrapDon’t trap keyboard users
2.2.1 – Timing AdjustableTime limits have user controls
2.2.2 – Pause, Stop, HideProvide user controls for moving content
2.3.1 – Three Flashes or BelowNo content flashes more than three times per second
2.4.1 – Bypass BlocksProvide a ‘Skip to Content’ link
2.4.2 – Page TitledUse helpful and clear page titles
2.4.3 – Focus OrderLogical order
2.4.4 – Link Purpose (In Context)Every link’s purpose is clear from its context
3.1.1 – Language of PagePage has a language assigned
3.2.1 – On FocusElements do not change when they receive focus
3.2.2 – On InputElements do not change when they receive input
3.3.1 – Error IdentificationClearly identify input errors
3.3.2 – Labels or InstructionsLabel elements and give instructions
4.1.1 – ParsingNo major code errors
4.1.2 – Name, Role, ValueBuild all elements for accessibility

WCAG 2.0 Level A basically makes sure that the content is accessible based on the four main principles perceivable, operable, understandable and robust. As stated above levels AA and AAA add additional requirements to these principles which are outlined below.

WCAG 2.0 checklist Level AA (Intermediate)

1.2.4 – Captions (Live)Live videos have captions
1.2.5 – Audio Description (Pre-recorded)Users have access to audio description for video content
1.4.3 – Contrast (Minimum)Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1
1.4.4 – Resize TextText can be resized to 200% without loss of content or function
1.4.5 – Images of TextDon’t use images of text
2.4.5 – Multiple WaysOffer several ways to find pages
2.4.6 – Headings and LabelsUse clear headings and labels
2.4.7 – Focus VisibleEnsure keyboard focus is visible and clear
3.1.2 – Language of PartsTell users when the language on a page changes
3.2.3 – Consistent NavigationUse menus consistently
3.2.4 – Consistent IdentificationUse icons and buttons consistently
3.3.3 – Error SuggestionSuggest fixes when users make errors
3.3.4- Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data)Reduce the risk of input errors for sensitive data

WCAG 2.0 checklist Level AAA (Advanced)

1.2.6 – Sign Language (Pre-recorded)Provide sign language translations for videos
1.2.7 – Extended Audio description (Pre-recorded)Provide extended audio description for videos
1.2.8 – Media Alternative (Pre-recorded)Provide a text alternative to videos
1.2.9 – Audio Only (Live)Provide alternatives for live audio
1.4.6 – Contrast (Enhanced)Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 7:1
1.4.7 – Low or No Background AudioAudio is clear for listeners to hear
1.4.8 – Visual PresentationOffer users a range of presentation options
1.4.9 – Images of Text (No Exception)Don’t use images of text
2.1.3 – Keyboard (No Exception)Accessible by keyboard only, without exception
2.2.3 – No TimingNo time limits
2.2.4 – InterruptionsDon’t interrupt users
2.2.5 – Re-authenticatingSave user data when re-authenticating
2.3.2 – Three FlashesNo content flashes more than three times per second
2.4.8 – LocationLet users know where they are
2.4.9 – Link Purpose (Link Only)Every link’s purpose is clear from its text
2.4.10 – Section HeadingsBreak up content with headings
3.1.3 – Unusual wordsExplain any strange words
3.1.4 – AbbreviationsExplain any abbreviations
3.1.5 – Reading LevelUsers with nine years of school can read your content
3.1.6 – PronunciationExplain any words that are hard to pronounce
3.2.5 – Change on RequestDon’t change elements on your website until users ask
3.3.5 – HelpProvide detailed help and instructions
3.3.6 – Error Prevention (All)Reduce the risk of all input errors