Providing a text alternative that identifies the purpose of the non-text content

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 2.1 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 2.1.


Applies to all technologies

This technique relates to Success Criterion 1.1.1: Non-text Content (Sufficient).


The purpose of this technique is to provide useful information via the text alternative even if the full function of the non-text content cannot be provided.

Sometimes, a text alternative cannot serve the same purpose as the original non-text content (for example an applet meant to develop two dimensional rapid targeting skills and eye hand coordination.) In these cases this technique is used. With this technique a description of the purpose of the non-text content is provided.


Example 1

  • An eye-hand coordination development applet has the following text alternative "Applet that uses the mouse and moving targets to develop eye-hand coordination"
  • A camera applet that has a round disk where you push on the edges to control a remote camera and a slider in the middle for zooming has the following text alternative "Control for aiming and zooming remote video camera".



  1. remove, hide, or mask the non-text content
  2. replace it with the text alternative
  3. check that the purpose of the non-text content is clear - even if function is lost.

Expected Results

  • #3 is true.