Reading Level
Success Criterion 3.1.5 (Level AAA)


Do you have a method to measure and determine the reading level of various parts of content within your platform/content? Do you provide supplemental content, or a lower level reading versions of content that is above the lower secondary education level?

Why is this important

People with reading and cognitive disabilities may not be able to understand difficult or complex content that is written above a lower secondary education level (over 7 to 9 years of school.)

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a person with dyslexia who has trouble recognizing words
I want simpler content that is easier to decode
so that I can more easily read the text on the web page.

Example 2:

As a person with cognitive disabilities
I want visuals such as images and icons to represent complex portions of the text
so that I can better understand the information that is being presented on the web page.

What should you do?

  • Write clear and concise content using short, common words and short sentences
  • If reading level of the content it is above a lower secondary education level, provide supplemental content or a lower level reading version of the content.

How do you do it?

Create well organized sections, paragraphs and heading structures. Write short paragraphs using short sentences. Use simple words when appropriate.

Measure the reading level of selected passages from a page. Names and titles that cannot be changed (e.g. names of people and book, movie, and document titles) should not be included in this measurement.

If content is above the lower secondary reading level, provide supplemental material or alternative content that is easier to decode and understand, such as

  • a text summary written at a lower level than the original content
  • images to represent or help explain some of the more complex text
  • a lower reading level version of the entire block of content
  • audio version of the content

Need technical guidance?

Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 3.1.5 - Reading Level page.

Additional Resources to help you: