Providing a text summary that can be understood by people with lower secondary education level reading ability

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.

Applicability

All technologies.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 3.1.5: Reading Level (Sufficient).

Description

The objective of this technique is to provide a summary of complex content. The summary is provided in addition to the original content.

Users with disabilities that make it difficult to decode words and sentences are likely to have trouble reading and understanding complex text. This technique provides a short statement of the most important ideas and information in the content. The summary is easier to read because it uses shorter sentences and more common words than the original.

The following steps can be used to prepare the summary:

  1. Identify the most important ideas and information in the content.
  2. Write one or more paragraphs that use shorter sentences and more common words to express the same ideas and information. (The number of paragraphs depends on the length of the original.)
  3. Measure the readability of the summary.
  4. Edit the summary. Consider dividing longer sentences into two or replacing long or unfamiliar words with shorter, more common terms.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed.

Examples

Example 1: A technical article with a readable summary

An article describes a technical innovation. The first item after the title of the article is a section with the heading, “Summary." The average length of the sentences in the summary is 16 words (compared to 23 words for sentences in the article), and it uses short, common words instead of the technical jargon in the article. A readability formula is applied; the summary requires reading ability less advanced than the lower secondary education level.

Tests

Procedure

For each summary provided as supplemental content:

  1. Measure the readability of the summary.
  2. Check that the summary requires reading ability less advanced than the lower secondary education level.

Expected Results

  • # 2 is true.