Understanding WCAG 2.1

Editors:
(Adobe)
(Invited Expert, InterAccess)
(W3C)

Abstract

Understanding WCAG 2.1 is a guide to understanding and using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 [WCAG21]. It is part of a set of documents that support WCAG 2.1. 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 2.1). See Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview for an introduction to WCAG, supporting technical documents, and educational material.

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 https://www.w3.org/TR/.

To comment, file an issue in the W3C WCAG 2.1 GitHub repository. Although the proposed Success Criteria in this document reference issues tracking discussion, the Working Group requests that public comments be filed as new issues, one issue per discrete comment. It is free to create a GitHub account to file issues. If filing issues in GitHub is not feasible, send email to public-agwg-comments@w3.org (comment archive).

This document was produced by a group operating under the 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.

This document is governed by the 1 February 2018 W3C Process Document.

Introduction

This section is non-normative.

Understanding WCAG 2.1 is a guide to understanding and using Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 [WCAG21] Although the normative definition and requirements for WCAG 2.1 can all be found in the WCAG 2.1 document itself, the concepts and provisions may be new to some people. Understanding WCAG 2.1 provides a non-normative extended commentary on each guideline and each Success Criterion to help readers better understand the intent and how the guidelines and Success Criteria work together. It also provides examples of techniques or combinations of techniques that the Working Group has identified as being sufficient to meet each Success Criterion. Links are then provided to write-ups for each of the techniques.

0.1 Relationship to Understanding WCAG 2.0§

Understanding WCAG 2.0 [UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20] is a substantial resource to support Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 [WCAG20]. Understanding WCAG 2.1 is a parallel resource that supports the new success criteria in WCAG 2.1. At this stage, it only includes content related to new features of WCAG 2.0. Future versions may include content relevant to WCAG 2.0, depending on how WCAG 2.1 evolves and what structure is determined to provide optimal support.

Unlike Understanding WCAG 2.0, this document has not been published as a Technical Report. This change reduces the formality of the document and increases the ability of the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group to maintain the content and optimize the structure. The Working Group considers the content to be authoritative. If feedback indicates the need, the document could be published as a Technical Report in the future.

0.2 Structure of Understanding WCAG 2.1§

This is not an introductory document. It is a detailed technical description of the guidelines and their Success Criteria. See Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview for an introduction to WCAG, supporting technical documents, and educational material.

Understanding WCAG 2.1 is organized by guideline. There is an Understanding Guideline X.X section for each guideline. The intent and any advisory techniques that are related to the guideline but not specifically related to any of its Success Criteria are listed there as well.

The Understanding Guidelines X.X section is then followed by a Understanding Success Criterion X.X.X section for each Success Criterion of that guideline. These sections each contain:

Links are provided from each Guideline in WCAG 2.1 directly to each Understanding Guideline X.X in this document. Similarly, there is a link from each Success Criterion in WCAG 2.1 to the Understanding Success Criterion X.X.X section in this document.

0.3 Techniques for WCAG 2.1§

Techniques specific to WCAG 2.1 are expected to come available soon. In the meantime, Understanding pages reference existing techniques from WCAG 2.0 where applicable, and suggests titles for new techniques that are proposed for WCAG 2.1.

1. Understanding Pages§

A. Acknowledgments§

Additional information about participation in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) can be found on the Working Group home page.

A.1 Participants of the WCAG WG active in the development of this document:§

A.2 Other previously active WCAG WG participants and other contributors to WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, or supporting resources §

Paul Adam, Jenae Andershonis, Wilhelm Joys Andersen, Andrew Arch, Avi Arditti, Aries Arditi, Mark Barratt, Mike Barta, Sandy Bartell, Kynn Bartlett, Chris Beer, Charles Belov, Marco Bertoni, Harvey Bingham, Chris Blouch, Paul Bohman, Frederick Boland, Denis Boudreau, Patrice Bourlon, Andy Brown, Dick Brown, Doyle Burnett, Raven Calais, Ben Caldwell, Tomas Caspers, Roberto Castaldo, Sofia Celic-Li, Sambhavi Chandrashekar, Mike Cherim, Jonathan Chetwynd, Wendy Chisholm, Alan Chuter, David M Clark, Joe Clark, Darcy Clarke, James Coltham, Earl Cousins, James Craig, Tom Croucher, Pierce Crowell, Nir Dagan, Daniel Dardailler, Geoff Deering, Sébastien Delorme, Pete DeVasto, Iyad Abu Doush, Sylvie Duchateau, Cherie Eckholm, Roberto Ellero, Don Evans, Gavin Evans, Neal Ewers, Steve Faulkner, Bengt Farre, Lainey Feingold, Wilco Fiers, Michel Fitos, Alan J. Flavell, Nikolaos Floratos, Kentarou Fukuda, Miguel Garcia, P.J. Gardner, Alistair Garrison, Greg Gay, Becky Gibson, Al Gilman, Kerstin Goldsmith, Michael Grade, Karl Groves, Loretta Guarino Reid, Jon Gunderson, Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo, Brian Hardy, Eric Hansen, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis, Sean Hayes, Shawn Henry, Hans Hillen, Donovan Hipke, Bjoern Hoehrmann, Allen Hoffman, Chris Hofstader, Yvette Hoitink, Martijn Houtepen, Carlos Iglesias, Richard Ishida, Jonas Jacek, Ian Jacobs, Phill Jenkins, Duff Johnson, Jyotsna Kaki, Shilpi Kapoor, Leonard R. Kasday, Kazuhito Kidachi, Ken Kipness, Johannes Koch, Marja-Riitta Koivunen, Preety Kumar, Kristjan Kure, Andrew LaHart, Gez Lemon, Chuck Letourneau, Aurélien Levy, Harry Loots, Scott Luebking, Tim Lacy, Jim Ley, Alex Li, William Loughborough, N Maffeo, Mark Magennis, Kapsi Maria, Luca Mascaro, Matt May, Sheena McCullagh, Liam McGee, Jens Oliver Meiert, Niqui Merret, Jonathan Metz, Alessandro Miele, Steven Miller, Mathew J Mirabella, Matt May, Marti McCuller, Sorcha Moore, Charles F. Munat, Robert Neff, Charles Nevile, Liddy Nevile, Dylan Nicholson, Bruno von Niman, Tim Noonan, Sebastiano Nutarelli, Graham Oliver, Sean B. Palmer, Devarshi Pant, Nigel Peck, Anne Pemberton, David Poehlman, Ian Pouncey, Charles Pritchard, Kerstin Probiesch, W Reagan, Adam Victor Reed, Chris Reeve, Chris Ridpath, Lee Roberts, Mark Rogers, Raph de Rooij, Gregory J. Rosmaita, Matthew Ross, Sharron Rush, Joel Sanda, Janina Sajka, Roberto Scano, Gordon Schantz, Tim van Schie, Wolf Schmidt, Stefan Schnabel, Cynthia Shelly, Glenda Sims, John Slatin, Becky Smith, Jared Smith, Andi Snow-Weaver, Neil Soiffer, Mike Squillace, Michael Stenitzer, Diane Stottlemyer, Christophe Strobbe, Sarah J Swierenga, Jim Thatcher, Terry Thompson, Justin Thorp, David Todd, Mary Utt, Jean Vanderdonckt, Carlos A Velasco, Eric Velleman, Gijs Veyfeyken, Dena Wainwright, Paul Walsch, Daman Wandke, Richard Warren, Elle Waters, Takayuki Watanabe, Gian Wild, David Wooley, Wu Wei, Kenny Zhang, Leona Zumbo.

A.3 Enabling funders§

This publication has been funded in part with U.S. Federal funds from the Health and Human Services, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), initially under contract number ED-OSE-10-C-0067 and now under contract number HHSP23301500054C. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

B. References§

B.1 Informative references§

[UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20]
Understanding WCAG 2.0. Michael Cooper; Andrew Kirkpatrick; Joshue O Connor et al. W3C. 7 October 2016. W3C Note. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/
[WCAG20]
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Ben Caldwell; Michael Cooper; Loretta Guarino Reid; Gregg Vanderheiden et al. W3C. 11 December 2008. W3C Recommendation. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
[WCAG21]
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. Andrew Kirkpatrick; Joshue O Connor; Michael Cooper. W3C. 30 January 2018. W3C Candidate Recommendation. URL: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/