Users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding).

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can't be invisible to all of their senses).

17 Guidelines

Is your Content Understandable?

The questions below are designed to assist you in determining if your website, application, and/or content is understandable to people with disabilities. Each question is linked to in-depth information, resources, and examples on how to apply the guidelines to our products.

Language of Page:

Is the language of each page properly identified in the code for your web site/application? (Success Criterion 3.1.1 – Level 1)

Language of Parts:

If content on a page switches from one language to another language for a section, is that section’s language properly identified in the code? (Success Criterion 3.1.2 – Level 2)

Unusual Words:

Do you provide definitions for any unusual words or topic specific jargon used on your website/application? (Success Criterion 3.1.3 – Level 3)


Does your website/application allow users to access abbreviations and acronyms in an expanded form? (Success Criterion 3.1.4 – Level 3)

Reading Level:

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? (Success Criterion 3.1.5 – Level 3)


Does your website/application provide a mechanism to properly pronounce words that are ambiguous or indeterminate when pronunciation is vital to understanding the meaning? (Success Criterion 3.1.6 – Level 3)

On Focus:

In your website/application, does any component initiate a change of context when it receives focus? (Success Criterion 3.2.1 – Level 1)

On Input:

In your website/application, are their controls that cause an unexpected change in context when modified or activated? (Success Criterion 3.2.2 – Level 1)

Consistent Navigation:

In your website/application, when navigational mechanisms are repeated from page to page, are they consistent in location and order across all similar pages? (Success Criterion 3.2.3 – Level 2)

Consistent Identification:

Do you provide consistent labels and alternative text for like / repetitive components? (Success Criterion 3.2.4 – Level 2)

Change on Request:

In your website/application, are there functions or controls that will auto-initiate changes in context not specifically requested by the user? (Success Criterion 3.2.5 – Level 3)

Error Identification:

If an input error occurs in your website/application, is the error identified and described to the user in text form? (Success Criterion 3.3.1 – Level 1)

Labels or Instructions:

In your website/application, do input fields have sufficient labeling and instructions describing what input data is expected? (Success Criterion 3.3.2 – Level 1)

Error Suggestion:

If an input error occurs in your website/application, do you provide input error correction suggestions to the user, if suggestions are known? (Success Criterion 3.3.3 – Level 2)

Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data):

In your website/application, do you provide a way for a user to reverse a submission, correct input errors, or confirm data before final submission of legal, financial, or data (test response data)? (Success Criterion 3.3.4 – Level 2)


In your website/application, do you provide context-sensitive help on how to perform operations when the label is not sufficient to explain the context? (Success Criterion 3.3.5 – Level 3)

Error Prevention (All):

In your website/application, do you provide a way for a user to reverse a submission, correct input errors, or confirm data before final submission? (Success Criterion 3.3.6 – Level 3)