Web Content Managers’ Guide: Accessibility

Berea College is working to offer a World Wide Web presence that meets the accessibility guidelines set forth in the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Levels “A” and “AA.” The college’s website must comply with these guidelines to be considered an accessible web site. To make the guidelines easier to comprehend, the 11 guidelines containing 34 compliance points have been organized into 4 overriding “Principles.” What follows is a comprehensive list of the principles, guidelines and WCAG 2.0 compliance points:

Note: Subsite Web Content Managers or “Owners” are not responsible for the initial application of accessibility compliance. The web team is using on-line tools to test your berea.edu 2016 site for compliance. We are providing the compliance guidelines below for your information. As you update and add pages to your site, please use the compliance check tools we recommend at the bottom of this page.

Principle 1: Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.

·       1.1.1 Non-text Content: text alternatives are provided for all non-text content.

Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media: Provide alternatives for time-based media.

·       1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Pre-recorded): An alternative for time-based media is provided for pre-recorded audio-only or video-only content.

·       1.2.2 Captions (pre-recorded): Captions are provided for all pre-recorded audio content.

·       1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Pre-recorded): An alternative for time-based media or audio description of the pre-recorded video content is provided.

·       1.2.4 Captions (Live): Captions are provided for all live video content.

·       1.2.5. Audio Description (Pre-recorded): Audio description is provided for all pre-recorded video content.

Guideline 1.3 Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.

·       1.3.1 Information and Relationships: Information, structure and relationships can be programmatically determined or are available in text.

·       1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence: When sequence affects meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined.

·       1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics: Instructions do not rely solely on sensory characteristics (shape, size, visuals, orientation, sound).

Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content, including separating foreground from background.

·       1.4.1 Use of Color: Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information.

·       1.4.2 Audio Control: A mechanism is available to pause or control the volume of audio that plays automatically.

·       1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum): Visual presentation of text/images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1.

·       1.4.4 Resize Text: Text can be resized without assistive technology and without loss of content/functionality.

Principle 2: Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.

Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard interface.

·       2.1.1 Keyboard: All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard Interface.

·       2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap: Focus can be moved to or from a component of the page using only a keyboard interface.

Guideline 2.2 Enough Time: Provide users enough time to read and use content.

·       2.2.1 Timing Adjustable: User can turn off, adjust or extend time limits set by the content.

·       2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide: There is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop or hide any moving, blinking, scrolling or auto-updating information.

Guideline 2.3 Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.

·       2.3.1 Three Flashes or Below Threshold: Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times during any one-second period.

Guideline 2.4 Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content and determine where they are.

·       2.4.1 Bypass blocks: A mechanism is available to bypass blocks of content that are repeated.

·       2.4.2 Page Titled: Web pages have titles that describe the topic or purpose.

·       2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context): The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone.

·       2.4.5 Multiple Ways: More than one way is available to locate a web page within a set of web pages.

·       2.4.6 Headings and Labels: Headings and labels describe topic or purpose.

·       2.4.7 Focus Visible: Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible.

Principle 3: Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

Guideline 3.1 Readable: Make text content readable and understandable.

·       3.1.1 Language of Page: The default human language of each web page can be programmatically determined.

·       3.1.2 Language of Parts: The human language of each passage or phrase in the content can be programmatically determined.

Guideline 3.2 Predictable: Make web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.

·       3.2.1 On Focus: When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context.

·       3.2.2 On Input: Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context.

·       3.2.3 Consistent Navigation: Repeated navigational mechanisms occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated.

·       3.2.4 Consistent Identification: Components that have the same functionality within a set of web pages are identified consistently.

Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

·       3.3.1 Error Identification: If an input error is automatically detected, the item is identified and the error is described to the user in text.

·       3.3.2 Labels or Instructions: Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input.

·       3.3.3 Error Suggestion: If suggestions for correcting an input error are known, then the suggestions are provided to the user.

·       3.3.4 Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data): For web pages with legal commitments or financial transactions, submissions should be reversible, data should be checked for errors, and a mechanism should be available for reviewing, confirming and correcting before finalizing submission.

Principle 4: Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

Guideline 4.1 Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

·       4.1.1 Parsing: In content implemented using markup languages, elements have complete start and end tags, are nested according to specifications, do not contain duplicate attributes and IDs are unique.

·       4.1.2 Name, Role, Value: For all user interface components, the name and role can be programmatically determined and set.[1]


The process of implementing these accessibility compliance points requires four kinds of labor.

1.      Web development at the coding level to make web pages behave in accordance with accessibility guidelines. Over time, many of the compliance points will have “canned” solutions.

a.      For example: Rules governing the appearance of fonts so that contrast between font color and background always meets or exceeds a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 (Compliance point 1.4.3).

2.      Ongoing content analysis to:

a.      Ensure readability (Guideline 3.1)

b.     Ensure text-alternatives exist for all non-text content (Guideline 1.1)

3.      Standardize and secure components of content so they are readily understood wherever in the website they are applied.

a.      For example: A button labeled “Give to Berea” can be applied on many pages within many sub-sites of Berea.edu – and typically this button will always hyperlink to the same page in the Give to Berea subsite. This button should have the same label, be the same size and same color wherever it appears (Compliance point 3.2.4).

4.      Routinely conduct usability tests and upgrade Berea.edu accordingly. Ensure that Berea.edu performs with current and future assistive technologies.


Compliance Checklist Tools you can use:



Back to Web Content Manager’s Guide Table of Contents

[1] This list of WCAG 2.0 Level AA Principles, Guidelines and Compliance Points is excerpted from “Solving Web Accessibility: Leaving No One Behind,” Copyright 2015 by David Berman and contained in a White Paper by 3PlayMedia, Inc.