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Understanding SC 2.4.5: Multiple Ways (Level AA)

In Brief

Users can get to content in multiple ways.
What to do
Provide at least two options for reaching the same content.
Why it's important
Not everyone can navigate content in the same way.

Success Criterion (SC)

More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process.


The intent of this Success Criterion is to make it possible for users to locate content in a manner that best meets their needs. Users may find one technique easier or more comprehensible to use than another.

Even small sites should provide users some means of orientation. For a three or four page site, with all pages linked from the home page, it may be sufficient simply to provide links from and to the home page where the links on the home page can also serve as a site map.


  • Providing an opportunity to navigate sites in more than one manner can help people find information faster. Users with visual impairments may find it easier to navigate to the correct part of the site by using a search, rather than scrolling through a large navigation bar using a screen magnifier or screen reader. A person with cognitive disabilities may prefer a table of contents or site map that provides an overview of the site rather than reading and traversing through several Web pages. Some users may prefer to explore the site in a sequential manner, moving from Web page to Web page in order to best understand the concepts and layout.
  • Individuals with cognitive limitations may find it easier to use search features than to use a hierarchical navigation scheme that may be difficult to understand.


A search mechanism
A large food processing company provides a site containing recipes created using its products. The site provides a search mechanism to search for recipes using a particular ingredient. In addition, it provides a list box that lists several categories of foods. A user may type "soup" in to the search engine or may select "soup" from the list box to go to a page with a list of recipes made from the company's soup products.
Links between Web pages
A local hair salon has created a Web site to promote its services. The site contains only five Web pages. There are links on each Web page to sequentially move forward or backward through the Web pages. In addition, each Web page contains a list of links to reach each of the other Web pages.
Where content is a result of a process or task - Funds transfer confirmation
An on-line banking site allows fund transfer between accounts via the Web. There is no other way to locate the confirmation of fund transfer until the account owner completes the transfer.
Where content is a result of a process or task - Search engine results
A search engine provides the search results based on user input. There is no other way to locate the search results except to perform the search process itself.


Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

Advisory Techniques

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.

Key Terms

assistive technology

hardware and/or software that acts as a user agent, or along with a mainstream user agent, to provide functionality to meet the requirements of users with disabilities that go beyond those offered by mainstream user agents


Functionality provided by assistive technology includes alternative presentations (e.g., as synthesized speech or magnified content), alternative input methods (e.g., voice), additional navigation or orientation mechanisms, and content transformations (e.g., to make tables more accessible).


Assistive technologies often communicate data and messages with mainstream user agents by using and monitoring APIs.


The distinction between mainstream user agents and assistive technologies is not absolute. Many mainstream user agents provide some features to assist individuals with disabilities. The basic difference is that mainstream user agents target broad and diverse audiences that usually include people with and without disabilities. Assistive technologies target narrowly defined populations of users with specific disabilities. The assistance provided by an assistive technology is more specific and appropriate to the needs of its target users. The mainstream user agent may provide important functionality to assistive technologies like retrieving Web content from program objects or parsing markup into identifiable bundles.


series of user actions where each action is required in order to complete an activity

set of web pages

collection of web pages that share a common purpose and that are created by the same author, group or organization


Different language versions would be considered different sets of Web pages.

user agent

any software that retrieves and presents Web content for users

web page

a non-embedded resource obtained from a single URI using HTTP plus any other resources that are used in the rendering or intended to be rendered together with it by a user agent


Although any "other resources" would be rendered together with the primary resource, they would not necessarily be rendered simultaneously with each other.


For the purposes of conformance with these guidelines, a resource must be "non-embedded" within the scope of conformance to be considered a Web page.

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