Techniques for WCAG 2.0

Techniques and Failures for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

Public Editors' Draft 15 July 2014

This version:
Latest version:
Previous version:
Michael Cooper, W3C
Andrew Kirkpatrick, Adobe Systems Inc.
Joshue O Connor, NCBI Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT)
Previous Editors:
Loretta Guarino Reid (until May 2013 while at Google, Inc.)
Gregg Vanderheiden (until May 2013 while at Trace R&D Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Ben Caldwell (until September 2010 while at Trace R&D Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Wendy Chisholm (until July 2006 while at W3C)
John Slatin (until June 2006 while at Accessibility Institute, University of Texas at Austin)

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This Techniques for WCAG 2.0 document provides guidance for web content authors and evaluators on meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 [WCAG20] success criteria. It is part of a series of documents published by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) to support WCAG 2.0. For an introduction to WCAG, supporting technical documents, and educational material, see Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview.

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.

Techniques for WCAG 2.0 is not intended to be used as a stand-alone document. Instead, it is expected that content authors will usually use How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference to read the WCAG success criteria, and follow links from there to specific topics in Understanding WCAG 2.0 and to specific techniques.

Status of This Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

This is a Public Editors' Draft of "Techniques for WCAG 2.0". These techniques are produced by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group to provide guidance about how to conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Recommendation. Techniques are referenced from Understanding WCAG 2.0 and How to Meet WCAG 2.0. Please note that the contents of this document are informative (they provide guidance), and not normative (they do not set requirements for conforming to WCAG 2.0).

WCAG 2.0 Techniques was previously published on 11 December 2008 as a Working Group Note and updated 14 October 2010, 3 January 2012, 5 September 2013, 3 March 2014, and 8 April 2014. This new version updates the support information provided for WCAG 2.0. Note that WCAG 2.0 itself remains unchanged, only the informative support materials have been updated. Primary changes include clarifications based on input from the public and translators. In addition to changes visible in the diff-marked version, the following broader changes were made:

The purpose of this draft is to collect public feedback on proposed changes since the WCAG 2.0 Techniques Working Group Note of 8 April 2014. The Working Group intends to publish an updated Note once feedback from this review has been incorporated. The existing Techniques document remains in place as a W3C Note while this separate draft update is under review and the WCAG Working Group addresses comments. The Working Group is still discussing whether it is appropriate to use various aria attributes to provide text alternatives for images without providing an alt attribute. ARIA10: Using aria-labelledby to provide a text alternative for non-text content (ARIA) is included to invite public comment and help the working group come to a conclusion about this technique as well as related items (e.g. F65: Failure of Success Criterion 1.1.1 due to omitting the alt attribute or text alternative on img elements, area elements, and input elements of type "image"). Examples within ARIA10 demonstrate situations where it might be desirable just to use aria-labelledby with no alt attribute. We solicit feedback on this example and on the general issue. The changes are highlighted in the diff-marked version.

Comments on this draft are due on or before 29 August 2014. The Working Group requests that any comments be made using the provided online comment form. If this is not possible, comments can also be sent to public-comments-wcag20@w3.org. The archives for the public comments list are publicly available. Comments received on this document may be addressed in future versions of this document, or in another manner. Archives of the WCAG WG mailing list discussions are also publicly available, and future work undertaken by the Working Group may address comments received on this document.

Materials from the public to assist in documenting techniques are particularly welcomed. Please use the Techniques Submission Form to submit techniques.

This document has been produced as part of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The goals of the WCAG Working Group are discussed in the WCAG Working Group charter. The WCAG Working Group is part of the WAI Technical Activity.

Publication as a Public Editors' Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

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