Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Quick Reference

Creator: World Wide Web Consortium

Date Updated: January 19, 2022

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendations that were developed by Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) using the W3C Process. WCAG are the standards for digital accessibility and should be consulted throughout development and maintaining digital technologies.

Quick Facts

  • The WCAG standards are organized under four principles:
  • Perceivable, the information is presented to users in ways that they can perceive it. The standards in this section include guidelines such as:
    • Provide captions for prerecorded and live audio content (videos, podcasts, etc.) (WCAG 1.2.2 and 1.2.4)
    • Don’t use colour alone to convey meaning (WCAG 1.4.1)
    • Images of text are only used when absolutely necessary (or for decoration only) (WCAG 1.4.9)
  • Operable, the interface and navigation of digital content are operable for all. This section includes standards such as:
    • Users should be able to navigate to all content using only their keyboard (WCAG 2.1.1)
    • Do not include time limits on/in your digital technologies (WCAG 2.2.3)
    • Your website does not have anything that flashes more than three times quickly (WCAG 2.3.2)
    • Each of your web pages has unique and descriptive titles (WCAG 2.4.2)
  • Understandable, ensure that the content and functions of your site are understandable by all users. This includes:
    • Identify any unusual words, such as jargon and idioms, in your site that users may not be familiar with (in the text, linking to a definition, etc.) (WCAG 3.1.3)
    • Consistently identify items that have the same functionality on your site (for example, your search function is labelled consistently across your site) (WCAG 3.2.4)
    • Provide instructions for content that users can interact with (like a web form) (WCAG 3.3.2)
  • Robust, your site must be robust enough that different users and technologies (like assistive technologies) can understand it. This section includes:
    • Create your website using well-structured HTML (for example, correct start/end tags and they are nested correctly) (WCAG 4.1.1)

Visit the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Quick Reference web page.

Reference

Eggert, E., & Shadi , A.-Z. (Eds.). (2019, October 4). How to meet WCAG (quick reference). How to Meet WCAG (Quickref Reference). Web Page. Retrieved from: https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/quickref/