Success Criterion 1.1.1: Non-text Content

Understanding Success Criterion: 

All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose, except for the situations listed below.

Accessibility Level: 
Exceptions to Success Criterion: 
  • Controls, Input: If non-text content is a control or accepts user input, then it has a name that describes its purpose. (Refer to Guideline 4.1 for additional requirements for controls and content that accepts user input.)
  • Time-Based Media: If non-text content is time-based media, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content. (Refer to Guideline 1.2 for additional requirements for media.)
  • Test: If non-text content is a test or exercise that would be invalid if presented in text, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.
  • Sensory: If non-text content is primarily intended to create a specific sensory experience, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.
  • CAPTCHA: If the purpose of non-text content is to confirm that content is being accessed by a person rather than a computer, then text alternatives that identify and describe the purpose of the non-text content are provided, and alternative forms of CAPTCHA using output modes for different types of sensory perception are provided to accommodate different disabilities.
  • Decoration, Formatting, Invisible: If non-text content is pure decoration, is used only for visual formatting, or is not presented to users, then it is implemented in a way that it can be ignored by assistive technology.
Intent of Success Criterion: 

The intent of this Success Criterion is to make information conveyed by non-text content accessible through the use of a text alternative. Text alternatives are a primary way for making information accessible because they can be rendered through any sensory modality (for example, visual, auditory or tactile) to match the needs of the user. Providing text alternatives allows the information to be rendered in a variety of ways by a variety of user agents. For example, a person who cannot see a picture can have the text alternative read aloud using synthesized speech. A person who cannot hear an audio file can have the text alternative displayed so that he or she can read it. In the future, text alternatives will also allow information to be more easily translated into sign language or into a simpler form of the same language.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion: 
  • This Success Criterion helps people who have difficulty perceiving visual content. Assistive technology can read text aloud, present it visually, or convert it to braille.
  • Text alternatives may help some people who have difficulty understanding the meaning of photographs, drawings, and other images (e.g., line drawings, graphic designs, paintings, three-dimensional representations), graphs, charts, animations, etc.
  • People who are deaf, are hard of hearing, or who are having trouble understanding audio information for any reason can read the text presentation. Research is ongoing regarding automatic translation of text into sign language.
  • People who are deaf-blind can read the text in braille.
  • Additionally, text alternatives support the ability to search for non-text content and to repurpose content in a variety of ways.