Providing textual identification of items that otherwise rely only on sensory information to be understood

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 that present description of a content rendering to the user.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 1.3.3: Sensory Characteristics (Sufficient).

Description

The objective of this technique is to ensure that items within a Web page are referenced in the content not only by shape, size, sound or location, but also in ways that do not depend on that sensory perception. For example, a reference may also describe the function of the item or its label.

Examples

Example 1

A round button is provided on a form to submit the form and move onto the next step in a progression. The button is labeled with the text "go." The instructions state, "to submit the form press the round button labeled go ". This includes both shape and textual information to locate the button.

Example 2

Instructions for a Web page providing on-line training state, "Use the list of links to the right with the heading, 'Class Listing' to navigate to the desired on-line course." This description provides location as well as textual clues to help find the correct list of links.

Example 3

The following layout places a button in the lower right corner and indicates it by position. An indication of the text label clarifies which button to use for users who access a linearized version in which the position is not meaningful.

              <table>
                <tbody>
                <tr>
                <td colspan="2">Push the lower right [Preview] button.</td>
                <td>
                <span style="background: ButtonFace; color: ButtonText; border: 
                medium outset ButtonShadow; 
                width: 5em; display: block; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">
                Print</span>
                </td>
                </tr>
                <tr>
                <td>
                <span style="background: ButtonFace; color: ButtonText; border: 
                medium outset ButtonShadow; 
                width: 5em; display: block; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">
                Cancel</span>
                </td>
                <td>
                <span style="background: ButtonFace; color: ButtonText; border: 
                medium outset ButtonShadow; 
                width: 5em; display: block; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">
                OK</span>
                </td>
                <td>
                <span style="background: ButtonFace; color: ButtonText; border: 
                medium outset ButtonShadow; 
                width: 5em; display: block; font-weight: bold; text-align: center;">
                Preview</span>
                </td>
                </tr>
                </tbody>
                </table>
              
              
            

Tests

Procedure

Find all references in the Web page that mention the shape, size, or position of an object. For each such item:

  1. Check that the reference contains additional information that allows the item to be located and identified without any knowledge of its shape, size, or relative position.

Expected Results

  • Check #1 is true.