Success Criterion 3.1.6 (Level AAA)


If the content on your site or application contains words which pronunciation is vital to understand the meaning, is there a way for users to get the proper pronunciation of those words?

Why is this important

Understanding the proper pronunciation of words in context plays an important role in comprehension of the topic being presented. This is especially true when meaning is determined by the way the word is pronounced. Everyone, including people who are blind, people who have low vision, and people with reading disabilities may have difficulty clearly understanding content if words may be mispronounced.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a person who is blind,
I want my screen reader to pronounce the content correctly
so that I can understand everything without having to decode the information (e.g. English heteronyms such as ‘desert’ or ‘transport’ that could be either a verb or a noun).

Example 2:

As a person with reading disability / dyslexia
I want to have access to the glossary that provides the correct pronunciation
so that I can check the meaning of the problematic words.

What should you do?

Provide a mechanism for proper word pronunciation whenever understanding the meaning of a word is dependent on its pronunciation.

How do you do it?

  • provide pronunciation immediately following the word (example of verb vs. noun - desert (dəˈzərt), or desert (ˈdezərt))
  • provide audio pronunciation links to the words which pronunciation cannot be determined from context
  • include pronunciation information in a glossary

Need technical guidance?

Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 3.1.6 - Pronunciation page.