Guideline 1.1 issue summary and proposal

Summary of issues

Proposal for Guideline 1.1 Provide text alternatives for all non-text content.

Level 1 Success Criteria for Guideline 1.1

  1. For all non-text content that is functional text alternatives identify the non-text content in such a way that the label serves the same purpose as the non-text content. If the non-text content is a collection of functional non-text content, each function and collection of functions within is identified. [I] {Issue 1486 - Deleted the phrase: ", such as graphical links or buttons" tried rewording to include web apps and widgets within web apps. This is probably not technically correct and could use a plain language rewrite.}

    How to provide text alternatives for content that is functional. (Informative)

  2. For all non-text content that is used to convey information, text alternatives convey the same information. [I]


    for multimedia, this means that two alternatives are provided:

    1. a transcript
    2. a text alternative that identifies the purpose or function of the multimedia

    How to provide text alternatives for content that conveys information. (Informative)

  3. For non-text content that is intended to create a specific sensory experience, such as music or visual art, text alternatives identify and describe the non-text content. [I]

    How to provide text alternatives for content that creates a specific sensory experience. (Informative)

  4. Non-text content that does not convey information, functionality, or create a specific sensory experience is implemented such that it can be ignored by assistive technology. [I] {Editorial: replaced "provide information" with "convey information" and added "create a specific" to "sensory experience" for consistency. Issue 1487 - replaced "marked" with "implemented.}

    How to provide text alternatives that can be ignored by assistive technology. (Informative)

  5. Any text alternatives are explicitly associated with the non-text content. [I]

    Note: At a minimum, a text alternative that serves the same purpose as the non-text content must be explicitly associated with the non-text content (per the first success criterion). However, if an additional text alternative is needed to understand the non-text content, it must be easy to find either because:

    • the additional text alternative appears immediately before or immediately after the non-text content [in reading order? in object model?] or
    • the additional text alternative is referred to in the explicitly associated text alternative or
    • the additional text alternative is itself explicitly associated. {Issue 1075 - Added the note in an attempt to clarify how and when text alternatives may not be explicitly associated with non-text content.}

    How to explicitly associate text alternatives with non-text content. (Informative)

  6. For live audio-only or live video-only content, such as internet radio or Web cameras, text alternatives describe the purpose of the presentation or a link is provided to alternative real-time content, such as traffic reports for a traffic Web camera

    Note: real-time content does not imply real-time captions. {Issue 1439 - deleted editorial note, "Editorial Note: This is similar to #1 above, yet it seems we need to specifically address audio-only and video-only content to avoid confusion.}

Level 2 Success Criteria for Guideline 1.1

  1. No level 2 success criteria for this guideline.

Level 3 Success Criteria for Guideline 1.1

  1. For multimedia content, a combined transcript of audio descriptions of video and captions is available. [I] {Issue 1488 - replaced "provided" with "available."}

    How to provide descriptions of all important visual information for multimedia. (Informative)

Who Benefits from Guideline 1.1 (Informative)

Examples of Guideline 1.1 (Informative)

Proposals for definitions

Related to issue 587 (defn of text equiv/alternative) and issue 895 (when to provide text alternatives for application-like non-text content, e.g., defn of non-text content)

Proposed definition: An arrangement of characters intended to convey information. See non-text content. {Propose new definition to clarify that ASCII art is not text and is intended to "convey information"}

Current definition: Graphic representations that are created by a spatial arrangement of text characters. Although it can be rendered on a text display, it is not text.

Proposed definition: Information that forms Web sites and Web applications: the code and markup that define the structure, presentation, and interaction, as well as text, images, and sounds that convey information to the end-user. In this specification, the noun "content" is used in three ways:
  1. It is used to mean the delivery unit as a whole or in parts - the information that the author provides such that the user agent can generate an accessible perceivable unit(s).
  2. It is used to mean the perceivable unit(s) as a whole or in parts.
  3. It is used in the term non-text content.

Current definition: none.

delivery unit
Proposed definition: The information that the user agent receives and renders into a perceivable unit. {Editorial: Thought we might need a plain language version. Propose that if we use a plain language version, also include the more technically correct definition from the DI Glossary}

Current definition: A set of material transfered between two cooperating web programs as the response to a single HTTP request. The transfer might, for example, be between an origin server and a user agent. [From Device Independence Glossary]

explicitly associated
Proposed definition: Implemented in such a way that relationships can be programmatically determined. {Issue 1075 - new definition proposed to help clarify criterion}

Current definition: none.

Proposed definition: Performing or able to perform an action in response to user input.

Current definition: Functionality is the purpose or intended effect of the content. This may include presentation of information , data collection, securing a response from the user, providing user experience, linking to other content, testing, confirmation, purchasing, etc.

non-text content
Proposed definition: Content that is not represented by a Unicode character or sequence of Unicode characters

Current definition:

non-text content includes but is not limited to images, text in raster images, image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), ASCII art, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video. It also includes any text that can not be translated into Unicode.


Scripts, applets, and programmatic objects are not covered in this definition and are addressed in guideline 4.2.

perceivable unit
Proposed definition: The result of a user agent rendering the contents of a delivery unit. User agents may or may not render all information in a delivery unit. In some cases, a single delivery unit may be rendered as multiple perceivable units. For example, a single html file that is rendered as a set of presentation slides. Most perceivable units contain presentation and the means for interaction. However, for some devices such as printers, a perceivable unit may only contain presentation. {An attempt at a plain language definition. Similar concern as to delivery unit.}

Current definition: A set of material which, when rendered by a user agent, may be perceived by a user and with which interaction may be possible.

User agents may choose to render some or all of the material they receive in a delivery unit as a single perceivable unit or as multiple perceivable units.

Most perceivable units provide both presentation and the means for interaction. However, on some types of device, such as printers, perceivable units might contain only presentation. [From the Device Independence Glossary]

Proposed definition: A sequence of characters. Characters are those included in the Unicode / ISO/IEC 106464 repertoire. Refer to Characters (in Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.1) for more information about the accepted character range.

[@@what about functional text content? e.g., links?] [@@refer to XML 1.0 or 1.1 - Christophe felt 1.0 is safer, but yet it's dated and not as "internationalized" - ala Richard's talk at the Technical Plenary]

Current definition: none

text alternative
Proposed definition: Text that is used in place of or in addition to non-text content. {Issue 587 - new definition for text alternative}

Current definition:

Note: text alternatives should be easily convertible to braille or speech, displayed in a larger font or different colors, fed to language translators or abstracting software, etc.

Proposed definition: Unicode is a universal character set that defines all the characters needed for writing the majority of living languages in use on computers. For more information refer to the Unicode Consortium or to Tutorial: Character sets & encodings in XHTML, HTML and CSS produced by the W3C Internationalization Activity. [Additional optional clarification: This does not mean that all documents should be encoded in Unicode. It means that documents should only contain characters defined by Unicode. Any encoding may be used for your document as long as it is properly declared and is a subset of the Unicode repertoire. ]

Current definition: none.