This is a draft document supplied by the WCAG Techniques Task Force. It in no way represents a WCAG Working Group consensus or agreement and is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. The accessibility test listed below should not be construed as required for conformance with the proposed WCAG2.

HTML Test Suite for WCAG 2.0
Test 29 - HTML Content has a valid doctype declaration.

W3C Editor's Draft 2005-08-11

Chris Ridpath, ATRC, University Of Toronto
Jenae Andershonis, Microsoft Inc.


This test case was created by the ATRC at the University Of Toronto. It should not be construed as required for conformance with the proposed WCAG2.

The complete list of tests may be found at http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/tests/

Comments on this test may be made to the WCAG mailing list.

Status Of This Test

As part of the conformance test process, this test has a status of 'accepted'.

WCAG2 Guideline

Guideline: 4.1 - Use technologies according to specification.
Success Criteria: 1. Except where the author has documented that a specification was violated for user agent compatibility (including compatibility with assistive technology), the content has: passed validity tests for the version of the technology in use (whether it be conforming to a schema, Document Type Definition (DTD), or other tests described in the specification), and used technology features as defined in the specification.

Level 1

The WCAG2 has 3 priority levels for making Web content accessible. This test has a priority of 'Level 1'.


The WCAG Working Group has created techniques that describe how Web content may be made accessible. The following techniques are related to this test:

Prerequisite Tests

There are no prerequisite tests for this test.

Test Process


  1. Check for the presence of a doctype declaration at the start of the content.
  2. Check the content of the doctype declaration.

Expected Results

  1. HTML Content has a valid doctype declaration.

Fail Instructions

  1. Add a valid doctype declaration to the content.

Pass Instructions

Any accessibility check may be performed after this test.

Test Files

These test files contain examples of the accessibility problem detectable by this test. They may also contain more accessibility problems than the one described in this test. Please ignore any extraneous accessibility problems in these files.

Valid XHTML 1.0!