Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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H53: Using the body of the object element

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.


Documents that load media with the object element.

This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

See User Agent Support Notes for H53.


The objective of this technique is to provide a text alternative for content rendered using the object element. The body of the object element can be used to provide a complete text alternative for the object, or may contain additional non-text content with text alternatives.

Fallback content for the object element is only available to the user when the media loaded by the element is not rendered by the user agent, because the user agent does not support the media technology or the user has instructed the user agent not to render that technology. In these situations, the fallback content will be presented to the user. If the media is rendered without the fallback content, the media needs to be directly accessible. Authors can only rely on this technique to satisfy the success criterion if they are not relying on the direct accessibility of the media's technology in their conformance claim, and reasonably expect users will be able to access the fallback.


Example 1: An object includes a long description that describes it

Example Code:

 <object classid="">
  <p>Here is some text that describes the object and its operation.</p>

Example 2: An object includes non-text content with a text alternative

Example Code:

<object classid="">
  <img src="staticlogo.gif" alt="Company Name" />

Example 3: The image object has content that provides a brief description of the function of the image

Example Code:

<object data="companylogo.gif" type="image/gif">
  <p>Company Name</p>

Example 4

This example takes advantage of the fact the object elements may be nested to provide for alternative representations of information.

Example Code:

<object classid="java:Press.class" width="500" height="500">
  <object data="Pressure.mpeg" type="video/mpeg">
    <object data="Pressure.gif" type="image/gif">
      As temperature increases, the molecules in the balloon...


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  1. Check that the body of each object element contains a text alternative for the object.

Expected Results

If this is a sufficient technique for a success criterion, failing this test procedure does not necessarily mean that the success criterion has not been satisfied in some other way, only that this technique has not been successfully implemented and can not be used to claim conformance.