Guideline 1.1 requires us to provide textual alternatives for non-text-based content so that it can be transformed into other forms that people need such as: enlarged text, braille, screen readers, symbols or simpler language.

Here is the original version:

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.

Guideline 1.1

What does guideline 1.1 actually say?

When we present non-textual content on our website (such as an image, chart, ad, etc.) we must also provide a textual alternative so that people who are unable to understand this content can understand it from the written text.

For example: if an image is presented on your website, you require to add ALT attribute describing what is inside the image.

This primary guideline has only 1 sub-guideline:

Guideline 1.1.1 – Non-text Content

Required from level A

In guideline 1.1.1 which is under it we can understand in which situations it is not necessary to provide a textual alternative. Here is the original version:

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: Controls, Input, Time-Based Media, Sensory, Test, CAPTCHA, Decoration, Formatting, Invisible.

Guideline 1.1.1

What does this actually tell us? that the textual alternative is required to be provided in all situations except in the following situations:

  • Controls – When the content is controls, which means: buttons, knobs and other types of controls.
  • Inputs – When the content is an input field, for example: contact form input.
  • Time-Based Media – When the content is based on time, such as video or audio (level A only).
  • Sensory – When the content is sensory.
  • Test – When the content is a test for something.
  • CAPTCHA – When the content is CAPTCHA (This means that the CAPTCHA itself don’t need alternative text, but if the CAPTCHA is using images these images will need alt text).
  • Decoration – When the content is only decorative.
  • Formatting – When the content is only a formatting.
  • Invisible – When the content is not visible to the user.

This post was written by Amit Moreno in September 23, 2022.

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