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WCAG 2.1 Checklist

New Success Criterion in WCAG 2.1: 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (Level A)

Success Criterion 2.5.1: 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (Level A): All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for operation can be operated with a single pointer without a path-based gesture, unless a multipoint or path-based gesture is essential.

With increase in touch devices, method of pointer gestures have become quite common. It has also become popular when users can use diverse range of gestures. 

Let’s take an example of a news app; by use of pinch, user can zoom in and zoom out the text. However, when user does not have ability to pinch, there should be alternate method of achieving the same functionality. Perhaps by using Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons or with an option in app settings. 

That said, this success criterion does not to apply to functionality provided for the operating systems – such as swiping down to bring notification menu or functionality provided in assistive technologies; such as talk back (screen reader on Android) has its own gestures for ease of use. 

Another exception is where path based gesture is a mandatory such as drawing a signature. 

How to test?

Identify if a functionality requires use of path based gesture such as swiping, dragging or drawing. One of the examples would be “Place an order” element on Amazon app where user requires to swipe from left to right to complete the order. Another example would be zoom-in or zoom-out on maps. 

Updated Web Accessibility Checklist – Operable

This is 2 of 4 in our series to put together an updated web accessibility checklist. As mentioned in our earlier post Updated Web Accessibility Checklist – Perceivable, this post may get updated once Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 becomes candid recommendation. (Reminder: last working draft is out; have your say soon!).

In this post, we will discuss what to check for operability of the web.

Ensure that content doesn’t flashes more than three times in one second or below the general and red flash thresholds

Level WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion What to check for?
A 2.1.1 Keyboard Ensure that functionality is operable using keyboard; including but not limited to input fields, links, buttons, menus, controls, etc.,
A 2.1.2 No keyboard trap Ensure that there is no keyboard trap. If users gets focused on an element using keyboard, they should be able to move out of the same component with the keyboard interface.
A 2.2.1 Timing Adjustable Ensure that user is alerted about session time-out and there is a mechanism to extend the session time. except where session time-out is essential such as for a test etc., In such a case, user should be notified and alerted.
A 2.2.2 Pause, stop, hide For blinking and moving content that starts automatically and plays for more than 5 seconds, provide a mechanism for user to pause, stop or hide. For auto-update of content, allow user to pause, stop, hide or change frequency of update.
A 2.2.6 Accessible Authentication Ensure that authentication process itself is accessible. This is a new SC in WCAG 2.1 – more interpretations will be available soon
AA 2.2.7 Interruptions (Minimum) Ensure there is an easy mechanism is available to postpone or suppress interruptions. Unless they are initiated by the user. This is also a new SC in WCAG 2.1
A 2.3.1 Three flashes or below thresholds
A 2.4.1 Bypass blocks Use any of the following methods to help users (specially keyboard only and screen reader) to bypass repeated blocks of content such as navigation.

  • Provide Skip to main content link. This needs to be the first link on the page. This can be visible or made visible on focus
  • Use appropriate heading structure using <heading> mark-up
  • Use ARIA landmark roles
A 2.4.2 Page titled Ensure every page has a descriptive and unique title. This should describe purpose or topic of the page
A 2.4.3 Focus order
  • Ensure tab order is meaningful for focusable elements
  • When activating an element opens a modal, ensure that keyboard focus is placed on the modal
  • When user is navigating within a modal, ensure that focus does not shift away from the modal until user closes modal
  • When user closes modal, ensure focus returns to the triggered element
A 2.4.4 Link Purpose Ensure that context of link is available with link text alone. Avoid use of link text like Read more, click here etc., if used, ensure to provide descriptive information using techniques like <aria-describedby> or using <off-screen> text.
AA 2.4.5 Multiple ways Ensure that there are more than one way to find content on the website. Some of the techniques could be use of Site search, Site map etc.,
AA 2.4.6 Headings & Labels
  • Ensure that all sections or topics have headings using <heading> attribute. This is helpful even when a form has multiple sections
  • Ensure input fields have visible labels. Placeholders are not a great way to do unless a mechanism is implemented in a way that labels are always visible even after entering data into input field. Exception is short and usual forms such as Search form, login form.
AA 2.4.7 Focus visible Ensure focus indicator is visible on all focusable elements. Do not override focus indicator using <outline:none>. If you do not like browser’s native focus indicator, be sure to code a customer focus indicator such as using <outline:dotted>
A 2.4.11 Character key shortcuts If there is a key shortcut that require use of multiple key combinations, provide a mechanism to either turn off or map with another key combination of user’s convenience. This is a new SC
A 2.4.12 Label in name When user interface component has additional text with label, that text should be presented with the accessible name.

In WCAG 2.1, Sections 2.5 Pointer accessible and 2.6 Additional sensor input are newly introduced and we will do these sections as a seperate interpretation. Stay tuned.

Updated Web Accessibility Checklist – Perceivable

Back in 2010, we have published a Quick Web Accessibility Checklist that received a good response and we have also received a good feedback. It’s true that users prefer to have a quick checklist along with large documentation to achieve their accessibility mission. So we are bringing you this updated Web Accessibility Checklist reflecting success criterions of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.  Please note this checklist gets updated once again when WCAG 2.1 becomes a W3C recommendation (expected to be in 2018). Also, note that all external links on this page opens in a new window. We will be publishing this as a series of 4 posts so that it will be easy for users to refer.

Level WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion What to check for?
A 1.1.1 Non-text content
  •  All active images do have appropriate alternate text
  • All informative images do have appropriate alternate text
  • All decorative images are provided with null <alt> attribute.
  • Ensure that no informative images are used as background images. All informative images need to be in foreground and have appropriate alternate text
A 1.2.1 Audio-only and video-only (prerecorded)
  • For pre-recorded audio-only content, ensure to provide a text transcript
  • For pre-recorded video only content, ensure to provide an audio track
A 1.2.2 Captions (prerecorded) Ensure that captions are provided for all audio based content except where audio description is alternative to visual content
A 1.2.3 Audio description or media alternative (prerecorded) Ensure that audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content except where video itself is alternative to audio content
AA 1.2.4 Captions (Live) Ensure that captions are provided for live video content in synchronised manner
AA 1.2.5 Audio description (prerecorded) Ensure that audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content in synchronised media
A 1.3.1 Info & relationships
  • Has the page marked-up using semantics?
  • Page must have one first level heading using <h1>
  • Is the heading structure on the page appropriate?
  • If any content appears as a list, has it marked up using <list> attribute?
  • Has form labels associated with their input fields?
  • Are radio buttons / checkboxes associated with their group label?
  • For data tables, are data cells associated with their row / column headers?
  • Is CSS used to control the layout than using <table> mark-up?
A 1.3.2 Meaningful sequence Is the reading order meaningful from its presentation?
A 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics Ensure that no instructions are provided in way that requires use of a specific sense of users such as using shape, color, visual location, size, orientation or sound
AA 1.3.4 Purpose of control This is a new Success Criterion and needs some interpretation to understand. This talks about personalisation of controls. While icons for different purpose may have standard icons, it’s recommended that user should be able personalise it.
A 1.4.1 Use of Colour Do not use colour as a sole means of information. Example: Normally “green” is shown to indicate success and “red” to indicate failure. While showing the same in color, it is also important to show as “text”.
A 1.4.2 Audio-control
  • Check if page any audio that plays automatically for more than 3 seconds
  • If yes, ensure that there is a mechanism to pause / stop or ability to control the volume using system’s volume control
AA 1.4.3 Contrast – Minimum Ensure that there is minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for regular text between foreground and background. For large text, minimum contrast ratio should be 3:1. Incidental text such as inactive controls and logotypes do not require to have minimum ratio of contrast.
AA 1.4.4 Resize Text Ensure that user should be able to zoom in content upto 200% without use of any assistive technologies. This is not applicable for captions and images of text
AA 1.4.5 Images of text Use natural text to provide information unless it’s essential to embed text to an image. Logotype is known as essential