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WCAG: Conformance Levels

If you've been following our blog series on accessibility, you've likely seen mention of WCAG's different levels of conformance. In short, they are Levels A, AA, and AAA, each of which successively describing a higher standard of accessibility. Each WCAG criterion we're discussing in this blog series has a conformance level designation. Often, thes...
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WCAG 1.3.2: Meaningful Sequence (Screen Readers Are a Thing, People!)

The year is 2005. You're in a bookstore filled with hysterical parents desperately fighting for a dwindling number of newly-released Harry Potter books. It's imperative that you get the book; your daughter has been excited about it for months, and it's not fun if she reads the story after everyone else. Utilizing the kind of high-level athleticism ...
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WCAG: 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics

Imagine that you created a multi-page survey. You placed a blue arrow button at the bottom corner of the page and wrote instructions at the beginning which told users to select it in order to navigate to the following page. Someone experiencing visual impairment may not be able to find that arrow button referenced in the instructions based on the i...
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WCAG: 1.3.4 Orientation (Some of us Would Rather Use Our Phones)

You've most likely come across websites that aren't mobile compatible. You'd like to read a page in portrait mode, but the page's set default is landscape ,so you have to navigate back forth in order to read an entire line of text. Super annoying, right? For a person with certain physical or sensory disabilities, compatibility with modern tablet an...
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WCAG: 1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose

As much as everyone loves wandering around a Wal-Mart for 8 hours trying to find the right kind of toothpaste, recent developments in technology have allowed many of us the unprecedented luxury of being able to order literally anything online. Online Forms: THEY'RE EVERYWHERE...Online ​ These days, we can take care of more and more of our errands o...
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WCAG: 1.3.6 Identify Purpose

Sure, we know you put a lot of work into the design and layout of your website, but what works for some won't always work for everyone. Users with certain cognitive limitations may wish to personalize or standardize user interfaces in order to make a page more familiar and easily comprehensible. Accordingly, the rule discussed in this post asks tha...
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WCAG: 1.4.1 Use of Color (Nothing Wrong With Standing Out)

So far in our noble quest to make WCAG 2.0 understandable, we've discussed a number of ways to provide alternatives to content on your site that would otherwise be difficult for those experiencing visual or auditory impairment to understand, such as alt text, captioning, sign language, and audio descriptions. The set of guidelines in WCAG 1.4 'Dist...
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WCAG: 1.4.2 Audio Control (It's Not 1995; Please Keep Your Website Quiet)

Anyone using a screen reader will experience the content on your website as audio. So, if your site contains a sound component that plays automatically, someone with visual impairment who relies on screen reader technology may have a difficult time, as the audio from their screen reader will have to compete with the sound on your site. Separate Con...
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WCAG: 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)

It's important that any text or images of text that appear on your site are a color that sufficiently stands out against the color of your background. This is referred to as color contrast, and WCAG calculates it as a ratio describing the relative luminance of the text and background colors . WCAG dictates that the minimum ratio you must meet is 4....
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WCAG: 1.4.4 Resize text

Screen magnifiers and other assistive technologies can be kind of a pain . Help your readers avoid them by making sure that your website works well with all different kinds of web browsers, so that users are able to scale the text on your site up to at least 200%. [ Link: ] Don't Get in the Way Good news! This guideline shouldn't require a lot of w...
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WCAG: 1.4.5 Images of Text (Write it Out)

Just like green cocktails with fancy umbrellas, there is a time and a place for images of text. Those experiencing visual impairment will have a much easier time using your site if you use text, rather than images of text, since screen readers can pick up regular text without the need for alt text, and those experiencing visual impairment can more ...
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WCAG: 1.4.6 Contrast (Enhanced)

In our article for WCAG 1.4.3  we talked about the minimum color contrast ratio required to ensure that any text on your site sufficiently stands out against the background. In this post, we will discuss a higher standard for color contrast. Level AA vs. Level AAA ​ All of this WCAG stuff is broken down into different conformance levels, descr...
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WCAG: 1.4.7 Low or No Background Audio

If your site features audio of someone speaking, you need to make sure any background noise on the track does not drown out the speech in the foreground, as those who are hard of hearing may have a difficult time understanding the clip. Keep It Down! ​ Thankfully, the fixes for this one are pretty straightforward. The easiest solution, of course, i...
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WCAG: 1.4.8 Visual Presentation

Blocks of Text Wading through unbroken blocks of text on a site is about as enjoyable as watching 57 uninterrupted hours of mid-1980s spelling bee recaps. They may also prove difficult or impossible to read for those who are experiencing low vision or have cognitive, language, or learning disabilities. Adjustable Colors ​ Users should be able to se...
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WCAG: 1.4.9 Images of Text (Not the Worst, but not the Best)

In our Pulitzer prize-winning blog post regarding WCAG 1.4.5 , we talked about why you should usually avoid using images of text on your site. As we explained there, those experiencing visual impairment may need to adjust the text and its background, including color and font size, in order to be able to read and understand it. Accordingly, you shou...
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WCAG: 1.4.10 Reflow (Keep it Together, Kid!)

Much like your mother-in-law, you don't want your website to be frustrating or annoying. We established in WCAG 1.4.1  that users with visual impairment might need to resize the text on your site to read it. In this section, we'll focus on making sure that when a user resizes the text, the website accommodates the changes in a way that ensures...
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WCAG: 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast

In our post on WCAG 1.4.3: Contrast (Minimum) , we discussed the concept of color contrast ratios and WCAG's corresponding requirements for text and images of text. Basically, users with low vision or certain color vision deficiencies may have difficulty reading text on your site if the color of the text is too close to that of the background. In t...
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WCAG 1.4.12 Text Spacing (Personal Space is Key)

Users experiencing low vision, dyslexia, and certain cognitive disorders may wish to increase the space between letters, words, and lines in order to more easily understand the content of your website. For content implemented on your site using markup languages, users should be able to make the following changes to text settings without loss of con...
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WCAG: 1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus

You've likely noticed that when you hover your cursor over buttons and other components online, sometimes a little box appears providing more information about that item. Take, for example, this screenshot taken from a Google Doc: [Source: Google] Or this refresh button [Source: https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Understanding/content-on-hover-or-focus....
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WCAG 2.1.1: Keyboard

If you've been following the posts in this astonishingly well-written accessibility project of ours, then good news! We are now finished with the first principle of WCAG. We know how excited you must be to explore the bountiful world of swashbuckling adventure that awaits you in WCAG 2, so we'll dive right into it. Whereas Principle 1 of WCAG deals...
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