The following is a free checklist/guide so that you can better understand what WCAG 2.0 AA is asking for.
Note 1: This is NOT official WCAG documentation but it is a non-technical quick summary (mostly) created to help you better understand what each success criterion is asking for.
Note 2: For the sake of brevity, many details and exceptions have been left out of this outline. This checklist is best used as a jumping off point for diving into each item in the official documentation.
Note 3: This guide DOES NOT include WCAG 2.1 (subscribe and we’ll alert you when the 2.1 guide is ready) or AAA conformance level.
Note 4: Section headings are not from WCAG. They are merely used to divide and organize the content.
Section 1: Alternatives
- Alt text (1.1.1): All images and non-text content needs alt text (there are exceptions)
- Video & Audio alternatives (1.2.1): All video-only and audio-only content has a text transcript. Transcripts are clearly labeled and linked below the media.
- Closed captioning (1.2.2): All video with sound contains accurate closed captioning.
- Audio description (1.2.3): For any video, add an alternative video that includes an audio description of information not presented in the original video’s soundtrack (exceptions) or include a text .
- Live captions (1.2.4): Any live video presentations must have closed captions.
- Audio description (1.2.5): An audio description is optional under 1.2.3 level A but not in 1.2.5 AA.
Section 2: Presentation
- Website structure (1.3.1): Use proper markup techniques to structure your website’s content (e.g. use correct heading tags and HTML for ordered and unordered lists)
- Meaningful order (1.3.2): Present content in a meaningful order and sequence so that it reads properly.
- Sensory characteristics (1.3.3): When providing detailed instructions, make it so they aren’t reliant on a single sensory ability.
- Use of color (1.4.1): Do not rely on color alone to convey information.
- Audio control (1.4.2): Any audio must be able to be paused, stopped, or muted.
- Color contrast (1.4.3): There must be a color contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 between all text and background.
- Text resize (1.4.4): Text must be able to be resized up to 200% without negatively affecting the ability to read content or use functions.
- Images of text (1.4.5): Do not use images of text unless necessary (e.g. logo).
Section 3: User Control
- Keyboard only (2.1.1): All content and functions on a website must be accessible by keyboard only (i.e. no mouse).
- No keyboard trap (2.1.2): Keyboard-only users must never get stuck on any part of the website; they must be able to navigate forwards and backwards.
- Adjustable time (2.2.1): If there any time limits on a website, users have the ability to turn it off, adjust it, extend it.
- Pause, stop, hide (2.2.2): If there is content that blinks, scrolls, moves, users must have the ability to pause, stop, or hide it.
- Three flashes or below (2.3.1): Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period.
- Skip navigation link (2.4.1): A “Skip to Content” or “Skip Navigation” link allows users to bypass the heading and go straight to the main content.
Section 4: Understandable
- Page titles (2.4.2): Each page of a website needs to have a unique and descriptive page title.
- Focus order (2.4.3): Users must be able to navigate through a website in a logical sequential order that preserves meaning.
- Link anchor text (2.4.4): The purpose of each link should be clear based on its anchor text (e.g. don’t use “click here”)
- Multiple ways (2.4.5): There are multiple ways to access different pages/information on a website (e.g. search bar, nav menus, sitemap, breadcrumbs, helpful links after content).
- Descriptive headings and labels (2.4.6): Headings and programmatic labels must be clear and descriptive. They do not need to be lengthy.
- Focus indicator (2.4.7): Any “user interface control” that receives focus from a keyboard user should indicate that focus on the current selected element (e.g. add a visible border around a text link).
- Website language (3.1.1): Set the language for your website.
- Language changes (3.1.2): Indicate any language changes for an entire page or within the content.
Section 5: Predictability
- No focus change (3.2.1): Nothing changes merely because an item receives focus; a user must actively choose to activate an item (e.g. hit enter to submit) before a change takes place.
- No input change (3.2.2): Nothing changes just because information is inputted into a field (e.g. form doesn’t auto submit once all fields are filled out).
- Consistent navigation (3.2.3): Keep navigation layout consistent throughout all pages of the website (e.g. same links in the same order).
- Consistent identification (3.2.4): Components that have the same function within a website are identified consistently (but not necessarily identically) (e.g. two check marks can indicate two different things as long as their function is different — one indicates “approved” on one page but “included” on another).
- Error identification (3.3.1): Make any form errors easy to identify, understand, and correct.
- Form labels and instructions (3.3.2): Programmatically label all form or input fields so that a user knows what input and what format is expected.
- Error suggestions (3.3.3): If an input error is automatically detected, then suggestions for correcting the error should be provided.
- Error prevention on important forms (3.3.4): For pages that create legal commitments or financial transactions or any other important data submissions, one of the following is true: 1) submissions are reversible, 2) the user has an opportunity to correct errors, and 3) confirmation is available that allows an opportunity to review and correct before submission.
- Parsing (4.1.1): Make sure HTML code is clean and free of errors, particularly missing bracket closes. Also, make sure all HTML elements are properly nested.
- Name, role, value (4.1.2): For all user interface components (including forms, links, components generated by scripts), the name, role, and value should all be able to be programmatically determined; make sure components are compatible with assistive technology.
I have created a full WCAG guide that explains what to do in Plain English. You can subscribe below to get this guide for free (you will receive an email within 24 hours).
The principles and information derive from contents found on the W3.org website. Below is attribution.
Copyright © 2015 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio, Beihang). This software or document includes material copied from or derived from WCAG 2.0