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W3C published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0) as a Recommendation in May 1999. This Working Draft for version 2.0 builds on WCAG 1.0. It has the same aim: to explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities and to define target levels of accessibility. Incorporating feedback on WCAG 1.0, this Working Draft of version 2.0 focuses on guidelines. It attempts to apply guidelines to a wider range of technologies and to use wording that may be understood by a more varied audience.
This document is prepared by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) to show how more generalized (less HTML-specific) WCAG guielines might read. This draft is not yet based on consensus of the WCAG Working Group nor has it gone through W3C process. This Working Draft in no way supersedes WCAG 1.0.
This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use W3C Working Drafts as reference material or to cite them as other than "work in progress". A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents is available.
The Working Group welcomes comments on this document at firstname.lastname@example.org. The archives for this list are publicly available. Archives of the WCAG WG mailing list discussions are also publicly available.
Patent disclosures relevant to this specification may be found on the WCAG Working Group's patent disclosure page in conformance with W3C policy.
This document has been produced as part of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The goals of the WCAG WG are discussed in the Working Group charter. The WCAG WG is part of the WAI Technical Activity.
The text equivalent fulfills the same function as the author intended for the non-text content (i.e. it presents all of the intended information and/or achieves the same function of the non-text content).
Editorial Note (06/10/03): There is discussion about moving some of the current success criteria from Level 1 to Level 2. The issue stems from trying to apply the success criteria to every Web cam, newscast, and home broadcast. Another approach is to allow a conformance claim to state, for example, "All pages and applications on this site meet the Level 1 guidelines of WCAG 2.0 except the Web cam at http://example.org/webcam/."
If the Web content is real-time and audio-only and not time-sensitive and not interactive a transcript or other non-audio equivalent is sufficient.
Editorial Note: This exception also applies to item 3.
is a music program that is primarily non-vocal
Editorial Note: This whole guideline (1.2) needs reworking. Perhaps move some down from above, or limit the items above to just certain classes of content - and then put the rest of the coverage (for other types of content) here.
the following can be derived programmatically (i.e. through a markup or data model that is assistive technology compatible) from the content without requiring user interpretation of presentation.
any hierarchical elements and relationships, such as headings, paragraphs and lists
any non-hierarchical relationships between elements such as cross-references and linkages, associations between labels and controls, associations between cells and their headers, etc.
the user is allowed to deactivate the time limits,
or the user is allowed to adjust the time limit over a wide range which is at least ten times or default setting or average user's preference,
or the user is warned before time expires and given at least 10 seconds to extend the time limit,
or the time limit is due to a real-time event (e.g. auction) and no alternative to the time limit is possible,
or the time limit is part of a competitive activity where timing is an essential part of the activity (e.g. competitive gaming or time based testing).
Editorial Note (06/10/03): This guideline is currently a level 1 success criterion because the WCAG WG expects that it will be possible to test content for flicker and the result will be a flicker rate in Hz that can be stored in a machine-readable format. If the assumption regarding a testing tool does not hold at time of final review of these guidelines, this criterion will be moved to level 2."
content was not designed to flicker (or flash) in the range of 3 to 49 Hz.
if flicker is unavoidable, the user is warned of the flicker before they go to the page, and as close a version of the content as is possible without flicker is provided.
Editorial Note: We would like to include a third criteria here that would state that a test that was conducted and the pages passed. No test or tool exists yet though. We're looking into how such a test and/or tool might be designed.
Editorial Note: The CKW reorganization proposed that all of the items in required be removed and proposed a rewording of the item in level 2 that addressed logical, linear reading order. [I#441]
Editorial Note: The CKW proposal suggested that this success criterion be combined with one of the (now level 3) items and that another level 2 item be moved up. [I#440]
Foreign words or phrases that are found in standard unabridged dictionaries for the natural language of the content do not need to be marked.
This success criterion applies only to foreign words, not to imaginary words, dialect abbreviations and other words that may not be found in an unabridged dictionary of the primary language but that are not foreign words.
Editorial Note: In techniques discussion, it has been argued that language attributes for documents are as important as identifying changes in language within documents. Moving it up here for future discussion.
Editorial Note: If a standard format for doing it can be achieved, we might require that linkages to glossaries for all abbreviations and acronyms that are created by the author or site be provided. We could also recommend that linkages to any abbreviations, acronyms, etc. used by the authors also be provided. We could also have a weaker recommendation for acronyms and abbreviations appearing on the site that linkages to glossaries explaining all abbreviations acronyms, etc. that appear in any documents on the site be provided.
familiarity of terms and language structure
reasonableness of length and complexity of sentences
coherence of paragraphs (and sensibility in length)
clarity of headings and linked text when read out of context
accuracy and uniqueness of page titles
care in the use of all-capital letters where normal sentence case might increase comprehension
inclusion of non-text content to supplement text for key pages or sections of the site where they felt it was appropriate.
an easy to find setting, that persists for the site visit, is provided for the user to deactivate processes or features that cause extreme changes in context or
extreme changes in context are identified before they occur so the user can determine if they wish to proceed or so they can be prepared for the change
passed validity tests of the language (whether it be conforming to a schema, Document Type Definition (DTD), or other tests described in the specification)
structural elements and attributes are used as defined in the specification
accessibility features are used
deprecated features are avoided
Editorial Note: The following two success criteria seem to overlap with guideline 4.3. There is an open question about whether they should be deleted since guideline 4.3 covers programmatic interfaces.
Editorial Note: This guideline includes a slightly reworded version of the suggestions from CKW reorganization. However, the following elements appeared to be redundant with the first sentence. Can they be removed?
If the application renders visual text, it should conform to the VisualText checkpoints.
If the application renders images, it should conform to the Image checkpoints.
If the application renders animations, it should conform to the Animation checkpoints.
If the application renders video, it should conform to the Video checkpoints.
If the application renders audio, it should conform to the Audio checkpoints.
If the application performs its own event handling, it should conform to the Events checkpoints.
If the application implements a selection mechanism, it should conform to the Selection checkpoints.
If the application implements voice or pointer input, it should conform to the Input Modality checkpoints.
accessibility conventions of the markup or programming language (API's or specific markup) are used (@@in UAAG somewhere?)
When determining your list of technological requirements, consider that assistive hardware and software is often slow to adapt to technological advances, and the availability of assistive technology varies across natural languages. Verify that assistive technology compatible with the technologies you choose is available in the natural language(s) of your content.
Editorial Note: This guideline currently includes no level 1 criteria. The implications of this are that there is no level 1 criterion that says content must transform gracefully or that it must be backwards compatible. However, if the guidelines with level 1 criterion are designed well, level A conformance would result in content that transforms gracefully. This guideline might be too subjective or difficult to test and may be deleted.
Editorial Note: The WCAG WG has not tackled the definitions of the terms that we are using and acknowledges that we sometimes use terms inconsistently. We need to coordinate our terms and definitions with the WAI Glossary and are working on proposals for a variety of definitions. We have been looking at the UAAG 1.0 glossary and other glossaries within the W3C.
content that can be expressed accurately and unambiguously in a reasonable number of words (for example, diagrams, charts, illustrations, etc.) Content such as a musical performance or visual artwork is considered "content that can not be expressed in words," since this type of content relies heavily on the visual (or auditory) experience.[I#320]
An audio description is a verbal description of all significant visual information in scenes, actions, and events that cannot be perceived from the sound track alone to the extent possible given the constraints posed by the existing audio track and limitations on freezing the audio visual program to insert additional auditory description.
When adding audio description to existing materials, the amount of information conveyed through audio description is constrained by the amount of space available in the existing audio track unless the audio/video program is periodically frozen to insert audio description. However, it is often impossible or inappropriate to freeze the audio/visual program to insert additional audio description.
Audio descriptions are equivalents of visual information from actions, body language, graphics, and scene changes that are voiced (either by a human or a speech synthesizer) and synchronized with the multimedia presentation.
Captions are text equivalents of auditory information from speech, sound effects, and ambient sounds that are synchronized with the multimedia presentation.
Editorial Note: @@ that provides dialog, important sounds and important visual information in a single text document
A competitive activity is an activity where timing is an essential part of the design of the activity. Removal of the time element would change the performance of the participants. Versions of the activity (e.g. test) that have no time basis or time limits might be preferred and may be required for some venues but this would require a complete redesign of the activity (e.g. test) and may change the character and validation methodology and would therefore not fall under these guidelines.
Content is considered complex if the relationships between pieces of information are not easy to figure out. If the presentation of the information is intended to highlight trends or relationships between concepts, these should be explicitly stated in the summary.
Examples of complex information:
concepts that are esoteric or difficult to understand,
content that involves several layers.
Editorial Note: We need to include a definition for content here.
Controlled languages use a restricted vocabulary taken from natural language. The purpose is to make texts easier to understand and translate. Standards generally limit words to a single meaning and prescribed part of speech. Complex syntax is avoided. Information about controlled language applications is available on the World Wide Web.
A feature is a specific component of a technology, for example an element in a markup language or a function call in an Application Programming Interface. Typically, a given feature may only be available in specific versions of the technology, and thus may need to be noted explicitly in the required list.
Functionality is the purpose or intended effect of the content. This may include presentation of information , data collection, securing a response from the user, providing user experience, linking to other content, testing, confirmation, purchasing, etc.
A keyboard interface is the point where the application accepts any input that would come from the keyboard (or optional keyboard).
Mechanisms that cause extreme changes in context include:
opening a new browser window unexpectedly and without any nonvisual cue (back button suddenly appears nonfunctional)
in an auditory presentation, the speaker changes with no visual cue and no notation in captions
captions that do not identify a change in speaker
Common user actions include:
use of browser navigation buttons (e.g. back and forward)
opening new browser windows
Common responses to user actions include:
loading a new page
exposing/concealing content based on mouse position or keyboard focus
displaying the contents of a menu (auditorily or visually)
displaying pop-up menus or windows
submitting a form
It is important that responses to user actions be predictable and sensible to the end user and that interactions are consistent, both throughout the site and with commonly used interaction metaphors used throughout the Web.
Natural languages are those used by humans to communicate, including spoken, written, and signed languages.
non-text content includes but is not limited to images, text in raster images, image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), ASCII art, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video.
Scripts, applets, and programmatic objects are not covered in this definition and are addressed in guideline 4.3.
The term operable includes the concept of efficiency. That is, it implies that the device can be operated from the keyboard in a reasonably efficient fashion. Using MouseKeys or having to tab dozens of times to move through a small section of a document or page, or other unreasonably inefficient keyboard access would not qualify. If a document has a very large number of links, some mechanism other than tabbing through them one at a time needs to be provided. This might include provision of headers (for header navigation), the use of skip navigation, links, etc.[I#346]
Presentation is the rendering of the content and structure in a form that can be sensed by the user.
Real-time events are those that are based on the occurrence of events in real-time where the events are not under the control of the author.
A site navigation mechanism is a mechanism for easily orienting and moving about within the site. Site navigation mechanisms include but are not limited to:
A home page with hyperlinks on it and subsequent pages that link to the other pages at the site
dynamic fisheye views showing all linked pages or topics related to any page.
3-D virtual representations of site content
Structure includes both hierarchical structure of the content and non-hierarchical relationships such as cross-references, or the correspondence between header and data cells in a table.The heirarchical structure of content represents changes in context. For example,
A book is divided into chapters, paragraphs, lists, etc. Chapter titles help the reader anticipate the meaning of the following paragraphs. Lists clearly indicate separate, yet related ideas. All of these divisions help the reader anticipate changes in context.
A bicycle is divided into wheels and a frame. Further, a wheel is divided into a tire and a rim. In an image of the bicycle, one group of circles and lines becomes "wheel" while another group becomes "frame."
A technology is a
markup or programming language
application Programming Interface (API)
or communication protocol
A text equivalent
serves the same function as the non-text content was intended to serve.
communicates the same information as the non-text content was intended to convey.
may contain structured content or metadata.
Text-equivalents should be easily convertible to braille or speech, displayed in a larger font or different colors, fed to language translators or abstracting software, etc.
A time-dependent presentation is a presentation that
is composed of synchronized audio and visual tracks (e.g., a movie), OR
requires the user to respond interactively at specific times in the presentation.
Content might be unfamiliar if you are using terms specific to a particular community. For example, many of the terms used in this document are specific to the disability community.
Editorial Note: definition of "widely available" should be added here to include something which is low cost and available in many?/most? countries/languages.