Accessibility Guide

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Each article can be filtered by role (content creator or developer), or by a range of topics (links, headings, navigation, etc.). You can also adjust how many items are shown per page, and navigate by the pager.

Definition of roles

Content creator: Website editor, instructor working in canvas

Developer: Web admin or developer, mainly working on web themes or complex applications

Note about roles

Roles are determined by the person most likely responsible for an area of web design and development. Guidelines can overlap, and depending on a project or site, the responsibilities may fluctuate.

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New in WCAG 2.2

When page controls like buttons and form inputs are small, it's much harder to hit the target area accurately without accidentally activating a different control. This can especially happen on mobile devices, and frustrate people who have difficulty with fine motor control. Making targets big enough or giving them enough space can help prevent accidentally clicking the wrong control.

Applicable Roles

Designer Developer

Smartphones and tablets can use motion sensors to make a particular feature or content work (tilting, shaking, etc.) However, for users that may need a device in a fixed position, or can't move the device in a particular motion, that feature or content may be unusable. Some users may also activate the motion accidentally, starting an action that they don't want.

Applicable Roles


Scalable vector graphics (SVGs) need additional accessibility information to be conveyed properly to all users. SVG markup by itself can produce a confusing output for anyone using a screen reader. If the SVG is acting as an image, it should have a text alternative, similar to images with all text.

Applicable Roles


Assistive technologies will read the caption or accessible name of tables on your page, making it especially important to have unique names/captions for each table. Multiple tables on a page without captions will make it difficult for assistive technology to tell one table from another.

Applicable Roles

Content Creator Developer

Audio descriptions allow people who are blind, have low vision, or other vision disabilities to hear what's happening or displayed on the screen that they can't see. Audio descriptions are an additional audio file that can be played over a video to describe the visual content in order to progress with the narrative.

Applicable Roles

Content Creator

WCAG 2.1 and WCAG 2.2

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 is the most recent baseline W3C Recommendation for developing accessible web content. WCAG is based on four principles:

  1. Perceivable: users must be able to detect the content using a variety of senses.
  2. Operable: users must be able to navigate and use all functionality in web content.
  3. Understandable: users need web content that is readable and predictable.
  4. Robust: users can still access content, even if technologies update or change.

As of today, Washington state policy requires WCAG 2.1 as the accessibility standard. However, we recommend meeting WCAG 2.2, as 2.2 is backward compatible and satisfies 2.1 criteria, in addition to new criteria added in 2023.

ARIA 1.2

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) provides a range of information to users about complex widgets and states of other interfaces.

Note: semantic HTML should be used instead of ARIA whenever possible.

There are resources for learning more about using ARIA when needed: