List of Checkpoints for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

W3C Working Draft 16-Mar-1999

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Related Documents:
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
Wendy Chisholm <chisholm@trace.wisc.edu>
Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>


This document, which accompanies the "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines", is a checklist for Web content developers. Each checkpoint in the guidelines appears in the checklist below, organized by concept.

This document is part of a series of accessibility documents published by the Web Accessibility Initiative.

Status of this document

This is a W3C Working Draft for review by the WAI Page Author Guidelines Working Group. It is published during the last call period for this document, which ends on March 19, 1999. This document incorporates many of the changes sent by reviewers as a result of last call. It is not entirely stable yet since not all of the suggestions have been incorporated. The editors will continue to incorporate comments and revise the document during and after last call.

This is a W3C Working Draft for review by W3C members and other interested parties. It 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". This is work in progress and does not imply endorsement by, or the consensus of, either W3C or members of the WAI GL Working Group.

This document has been produced as part of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, and is intended as a draft of a Proposed Recommendation for authoring accessible Web pages. The goal of the WAI Page Author Guidelines Working Group is discussed in the Working Group charter.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR.

Please send detailed comments on this document to w3c-wai-gl@w3.org.


Each checkpoint has priority level assigned by the Working Group based on the checkpoint's impact on accessibility.

[Priority 1] or [Priority One]
A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents.
[Priority 2] or [Priority Two]
A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents.
[Priority 3] or [Priority Three]
A Web content developer may address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents.

Some checkpoints specify a priority level that may change under certain (indicated) conditions.

Priority 1 checkpoints

In General (Priority 1) YesNoN/A
4.1 Ensure that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.      
6.1 Clearly identify changes in the natural language of a document's text.      
8.3 For pages that use style sheets or presentation markup, ensure that the content of each page is organized logically.      
9.1 Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh, do not create periodically auto-refreshing pages      
9.2 Avoid any blinking or updating of the screen that causes flicker.      
16.1 Use language that is clear and simple, yet appropriate for the site's content.      
And if you use images and image maps (Priority 1) YesNoN/A
1.1 Provide text equivalents for all images      
1.4 Provide a text equivalent for each active region of an image map.      
1.5 Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.      
1.6 Replace ASCII art with an image or describe the ASCII art and provide a means (e.g., a link) to skip over it. [Priority 1 or Priority 2 depending on the importance of the information.]      
1.7 Provide redundant text links for each active region of an image map. [Priority 1 - if server-side image maps are used, Priority 2 - if client-side image maps are used. Content developers will not need to provide redundant text links for client-side image maps once most user agents render text equivalents for the map links.]      
2.1 Provide a description of each graphic, script, or applet that conveys important information.      
And if you use tables (Priority 1) YesNoN/A
7.1 For data tables, identify headers for rows and columns.      
7.2 For data tables that have more than one row and/or more than one column of header cells, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.      
And if you use frames (Priority 1) YesNoN/A
8.1 Ensure that descriptions and text alternatives for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes.      
14.1 Title each frame so that users can keep track of frames by title.      
And if you use applets and scripts (Priority 1) YesNoN/A
1.2 Provide text equivalents for all applets and other programmatic objects.      
8.2 For scripts that present important information or functionality, provide an equivalent. (Refer to the definition of equivalent.)      
And if you use multimedia (Priority 1) YesNoN/A
1.3 For short animations such as "animated gifs," provide a text equivalent and a description if needed.      
2.2 For movies, provide auditory descriptions that are synchronized with the original audio.      
3.1 For stand-alone audio files, provide a text transcript of all words (spoken or sung) and all important sounds.      
3.2 For audio associated with video, synchronize the text transcript with the video.      
3.3 Where sounds are played automatically, provide visual notification and transcripts. [Priority 1 or Priority 2 depending on the importance of the sound.]      
And if all else fails (Priority 1) YesNoN/A
13.4 If, after best efforts, you cannot avoid using a non-W3C technology or any W3C technology in an accessible way, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information, and is updated as often as the inaccessible (original) page.      

Priority 2 checkpoints

In General (Priority 2) YesNoN/A
4.2 Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen.      
5.1 Use header elements to convey logical structure and use them according to specification.      
5.2 Mark up lists and list items properly.      
5.3 Mark up quotations. Do not use quotation markup for formatting effects such as indentation.      
5.4 Create documents that validate to published formal grammars.      
5.5 Use style sheets to control layout and presentation.      
5.6 When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images to convey information.      
5.7 Use relative rather than absolute units in markup language attribute values and style sheet property values.      
6.2 Specify the expansion of abbreviations and acronyms. [Priority 2 for the first occurrence of the acronym or abbreviation in a given document, Priority 3 thereafter.]      
9.4 Until user agents provide the ability to stop auto-redirect, do not use markup to redirect pages automatically. Instead, configure the server to perform redirects.      
13.1 If W3C technologies are used, use the latest W3C specification where it is supported.      
13.2 If W3C technologies are used, avoid deprecated language features.      
15.1 Make link phrases terse yet meaningful when read on their own or in succession.      
15.2 Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites.      
And if you use images and image maps (Priority 2) YesNoN/A
1.8 Provide individual button controls in a form rather than simulating a set of buttons with an image map.      
And if you use tables (Priority 2) YesNoN/A
7.3 Avoid using tables for layout.      
7.4 If a table is used for layout, do not use any structural markup for the purpose of visual formatting.      
12.3 Provide a linear text alternative (on the current page or some other) for all tables that lay out text in parallel, word-wrapped columns.      
And if you use frames (Priority 2) YesNoN/A
8.4 Provide an alternative presentation or page when the primary content is dynamic.      
14.2 Describe the purpose of frames and how frames relate to each other if it is not obvious by frame titles alone.      
And if you use forms (Priority 2) YesNoN/A
12.2 For all form controls with implicitly associated labels, ensure that the label is properly positioned.      
14.3 Group form controls. [Priority 2 - for radio buttons and checkboxes, Priority 3 - for other controls.]      
14.4 Associate labels explicitly with their controls.      
14.5 Divide long lists of choices into manageable groups.      
And if you use applets and scripts (Priority 2) YesNoN/A
8.5 Provide non-text equivalents for all applets and other programmatic objects.      
9.3 Avoid movement in pages. When a page includes moving content, provide a mechanism to allow users to freeze motion or updates in applets and scripts or use style sheets and scripting to create movement.      
10.1 Make programmatic elements such as scripts and applets directly accessible or compatible with assistive technologies [Priority 1 if functionality is important and not presented elsewhere, otherwise Priority 2.]      
11.1 Ensure that all elements that have their own interface are keyboard operable.      
11.2 For scripts, specify logical event handlers rather than device-dependent event handlers.      
12.1 Do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window without informing the user.      
And if you use multimedia (Priority 2) YesNoN/A
3.4 Provide a text version of the auditory description and collate it with the text transcript (captions) of the primary audio track.      

Priority 3 checkpoints

In General (Priority 3) YesNoN/A
6.3 Identify the primary natural language of a document.      
11.3 Create a logical tab order through links, form controls, and objects.      
11.4 Provide keyboard shortcuts to links, including those in client-side image maps, form controls, and groups of form controls.      
13.3 Provide information so that users may receive documents according to their preferences (e.g., language, content type, etc.)      
15.3 Provide navigation bars to highlight and give access to the navigation mechanism.      
15.4 Provide a site map or table of contents that makes the structure of a Web site apparent and facilitates navigation.      
15.5 Provide a description of the general layout of the site, the access features provided, and how to use them.      
15.6 Use navigation mechanisms in a consistent manner.      
15.7 Enable different types of searches for different skill levels and preferences.      
15.8 Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.      
15.9 Facilitate off-line browsing by creating a single downloadable file for documents that exist as a series of separate pages.      
15.10 Group related links, identify the group (for user agents), and, until user agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group.      
16.2 Provide icons or graphics (with text equivalents and descriptions) where they facilitate comprehension of the page.      
16.3 Create a style of presentation that is consistent across pages.      
And if you use tables (Priority 3) YesNoN/A
7.5 Provide summaries for tables.      
7.6 Provide abbreviations for header labels.      
And if you use forms (Priority 3) YesNoN/A
12.4 Include default, place-holding characters in edit boxes and text areas.      
12.5 Include non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces) between links that occur consecutively.