Sanna Kramsi - I would if I could a guide to web accessibility

ATAG structure

ATAG consists of two parts:

  • A: Make the authoring tool interface accessible
  • B: Support the production of accessible content

Part A has 13 guidelines spread across four principles. Part B has 11 guidelines spread across four principles.

Each guideline is broken down into individual requirements known as Success Criteria (SC). Same as in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), each SC is assigned a conformance level, and when taken collectively, gives the authoring tool an overall conformance level:

  • Level A: all applicable Level A SC have been met.
  • Level AA: All applicable Level A and Level AA SC have been met.
  • Level AAA: All applicable Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA SC have been met.

A. Make the authoring tool user interface accessible

A.1. Authoring tool user interfaces follow applicable accessibility guidelines

  • A.1.1. (For the authoring tool user interface) Ensure that web-based functionality is accessible
    • A.1.1.1 Web-Based Accessible (WCAG): If the authoring tool contains web-based user interfaces, then those web-based user interfaces meet the WCAG 2.0 success criteria. (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria)
  • A.1.2. (For the authoring tool user interface) Ensure that non-web-based functionality is accessible
    • A.1.2.1 Accessibility Guidelines: If the authoring tool contains non-web-based user interfaces, then those non-web-based user interfaces follow the user interface accessibility guidelines for the platform (Level A)
    • A.1.2.2 Platform Accessibility Services: If the authoring tool contains non-web-based interfaces, then those non-web-based user interfaces expose accessibility information through platform accessibility services (Level A)

A.2. Editing-views are perceivable

  • A.2.1. (For the authoring tool user interface) Make alternative content available to authors
    • A.2.1.1 Text Alternatives for Rendered Non-Text Content: If an editing-view renders non-text content, then any programmatically associated text alternatives for the non-text content can be programmatically determined (Level A)
    • A.2.1.2 Alternatives for Rendered Time-Based Media: If an editing-view renders time-based media, then at least one of the following is true: (Level A)
      • (a) Option to Render: The authoring tool provides the option to render alternatives for the time-based media; or
      • (b) User Agent Option: Authors have the option to preview the time-based media in a user agent that is able to render the alternatives
  • A.2.2. (For the authoring tool user interface) Ensure that editing-view presentation can be programmatically determined
    • A.2.2.1 Editing-View Status Indicators: If an editing-view adds status indicators to the content being edited, then the information being conveyed by the status indicators can be programmatically determined (Level A)
    • A.2.2.2 Access to Rendered Text Properties: If an editing-view renders an text formatting properties that authors can also edit using the editing-view, then the properties can be programmatically determined (Level AA)

A.3. Editing-views are operable

  • A.3.1. (For the authoring tool user interface) Provide keyboard access to authoring features
    • A.3.1.1 Keyboard Access (Minimum): All functionality of the authoring tool is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user's movement and not just the endpoints. (Level A)
    • A.3.1.2 No Keyboard Traps: If keyboard focus can be moved to a component using a keyboard interface, then focus can be moved away from that component using only a keyboard interface. If it requires more than unmodified arrow or tab keys or other standard exit methods, authors are advised of the method for moving focus away. (Level A)
    • A.3.1.3 Efficient Keyboard Access: The authoring tool user interface includes mechanisms to make keyboard access more efficient than sequential keyboard access. (Level AA)
    • A.3.1.4 Keyboard Access (Enhanced): All functionality of the authoring tool is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes. (Level AAA)
    • A.3.1.5 Customize Keyboard Access: If the authoring tool includes keyboard commands, then those keyboard commands can be customized. (Level AAA)
    • A.3.1.6 Present Keyboard Commands: If the authoring tool includes keyboard commands, then the authoring tool provides a way for authors to determine the keyboard commands associated with authoring tool user interface components. (Level AAA)
  • A.3.2. (For the authoring tool user interface) Provide authors with enough time
    • A.3.2.1 Auto-Save (Minimum): The authoring tool does not include session time limits or the authoring tool can automatically save edits made before the session time limits are reached. (Level A)
    • A.3.2.2 Timing Adjustable: The authoring tool does not include time limits or at least one of the following is true: (Level A)
      • (a) Turn Off: Authors are allowed to turn off the time limit before encountering it; or
      • (b) Adjust: Authors are allowed to adjust the time limit before encountering it over a wide range that is at least ten times the length of the default setting; or
      • (c) Extend: Authors are warned before time expires and given at least 20 seconds to extend the time limit with a simple action (e.g. "press the space bar"), and authors are allowed to extend the time limit at least ten times; or
      • (d) Real-time Exception: The time limit is a required part of a real-time event (e.g. a collaborative authoring system), and no alternative to the time limit is possible; or
      • (e) Essential Exception: The time limit is essential and extending it would invalidate the activity; or
      • (f) 20-Hour Exception: The time limit is longer than 20 hours.
    • A.3.2.3 Static Input Components: The authoring tool does not include moving user interface components that accept input where the movement of these components cannot be paused by authors. (Level A)
    • A.3.2.4 Content Edits Saved (Extended): The authoring tool can be set to automatically save web content edits made using the authoring tool. (Level AAA)
  • A.3.3. (For the authoring tool user interface) Help authors avoid flashing that could cause seizures
    • A.3.3.1 Static View Option: If an editing-view can play visual time-based content, then playing is not necessarily automatic upon loading the content and playing can be paused. (Level A)
  • A.3.4. (For the authoring tool user interface) Enhance navigation and editing via content structure
    • A.3.4.1 Navigate By Structure: If editing-views expose the markup elements in the web content being edited, then the markup elements (e.g. source code, content renderings) are selectable and navigation mechanisms are provided to move the selection focus between elements. (Level AA)
    • A.3.4.2 Navigate by Programmatic Relationships: If editing-views allow editing of programmatic relationships within web content, then mechanisms are provided that support navigation between the related content. (Level AAA)
  • A.3.5. (For the authoring tool user interface) Provide text search of the content
    • A.3.5.1 Text Search: If the authoring tool provides an editing-view of text-based content, then the editing-view enables text search, such that all of the following are true: (Level AA)
      • (a) All Editable Text: Any text content that is editable by the editing-view is searchable (including alternative content); and
      • (b) Match: Matching results can be presented to authors and given focus; and
      • (c) No Match: Authors are informed when no results are found; and
      • (d) Two-way: The search can be made forwards or backwards.
  • A.3.6. (For the authoring tool user interface) Manage preference settings
    • A.3.6.1 Independence of Display: If the authoring tool includes display settings for editing-views, then the authoring tool allows authors to adjust these settings without modifying the web content being edited. (Level A)
    • A.3.6.2 Save Settings: If the authoring tool includes display and/or control settings, then these settings can be saved between authoring sessions. (Level AA)
    • A.3.6.3 Apply Platform Settings: The authoring tool respects changes in platform display and control settings, unless authors select more specific display and control settings using the authoring tool. (Level AA)
  • A.3.7. (For the authoring tool user interface) Ensure that previews are at least as accessible as in-market user agents
    • A.3.7.1 Preview (Minimum): If a preview is provided, then at least one of the following is true: (Level A)
      • (a) In-Market User Agent: The preview renders content using a user agent that is in-market; or
      • (b) UAAG (Level A): The preview conforms to the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Level A [UAAG10].
    • A.3.7.2 Preview (Enhanced): If a preview is provided, then authors can specify which user agent performs the preview. (Level AAA)

A.4. Editing-views are understandable

  • A.4.1. (For the authoring tool user interface) Help authors avoid and correct mistakes
    • A.4.1.1 Content Changes Reversible (Minimum): All authoring actions are either reversible or the authoring tool requires author confirmation to proceed. (Level A)
    • A.4.1.2 Settings Change Confirmation: If the authoring tool provides mechanisms for changing authoring tool user interface settings, then those mechanisms can reverse the setting changes, or the authoring tool requires author confirmation to proceed. (Level A)
    • A.4.1.3 Content Changes Reversible (Enhanced): Authors can sequentially reverse a series of reversible authoring actions. (Level AAA)
  • A.4.2. (For the authoring tool user interface) Document the user interface, including all accessibility features
    • A.4.2.1 Describe Accessibility Features: For each authoring tool feature that is used to meet Part A of ATAG 2.0, at least one of the following is true: (Level A)
      • (a) Described in the Documentation: Use of the feature is explained in the authoring tool's documentation; or
      • (b) Described in the Interface: Use of the feature is explained in the authoring tool user interface; or
      • (c) Platform Service: The feature is a service provided by an underlying platform; or
      • (d) Not Used by Authors: The feature is not used directly by authors (e.g. passing information to a platform accessibility service).
    • A.4.2.2 Document All Features: For each authoring tool feature, at least one of the following is true: (Level AA)
      • (a) Described in the Documentation: Use of the feature is explained in the authoring tool's documentation; or
      • (b) Described in the Interface: Use of the feature is explained in the authoring tool user interface; or
      • (c) Platform Service: The feature is a service provided by an underlying platform; or
      • (d) Not Used by Authors: The feature is not used directly by authors (e.g. passing information to a platform accessibility service).

B. Support the production of accessible content

B.1. Fully automatic processes produce accessible content

  • B.1.1. Ensure that automatically-specified content is accessible
    • B.1.1.1 Content Auto-Generation After Authoring Sessions (WCAG): The authoring tool does not automatically generate web content after the end of an authoring session, or, authors can specify that the content be accessible web content (WCAG). (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
    • B.1.1.2 Content Auto-Generation During Authoring Sessions (WCAG): If the authoring tool provides the functionality for automatically generating web content during an authoring session, then at least one of the following is true: (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
      • (a) Accessible: The content is accessible web content (WCAG) without author input; or
      • (b) Prompting: During the automatic generation process, authors are prompted for any required accessibility information (WCAG); or
      • (c) Automatic Checking: After the automatic generation process, accessibility checking is automatically performed; or
      • (d) Checking Suggested: After the automatic generation process, the authoring tool prompts authors to perform accessibility checking.
  • B.1.2. Ensure that accessibility information is preserved
    • B.1.2.1 Restructuring and Recoding Transformations (WCAG): If the authoring tool provides restructuring transformations or re-coding transformations, and if equivalent mechanisms exist in the web content technology of the output, then at least one of the following is true: (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
      • (a) Preserve: Accessibility information (WCAG) is preserved in the output; or
      • (b) Warning: Authors have the default option to be warned that accessibility information (WCAG) may be lost (e.g. when saving a vector graphic into a raster image format); or
      • (c) Automatic Checking: After the transformation, accessibility checking is automatically performed; or
      • (d) Checking Suggested: After the transformation, the authoring tool prompts authors to perform accessibility checking.
    • B.1.2.2 Copy-Paste Inside Authoring Tool (WCAG): If the authoring tool supports copy and paste of structured content, then any accessibility information (WCAG) in the copied content is preserved when the authoring tool is both the source and destination of the copy-paste and the source and destination use the same web content technology. (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
    • B.1.2.3 Optimizations Preserve Accessibility: If the authoring tool provides optimizing web content transformations, then any accessibility information (WCAG) in the input is preserved in the output. (Level A).
    • B.1.2.4 Text Alternatives for Non-Text Content are Preserved: If the authoring tool provides web content transformations that preserve non-text content in the output, then any text alternatives for that non-text content are also preserved, if equivalent mechanisms exist in the web content technology of the output. (Level A).

B.2. Authors are supported in producing accessible content

  • B.2.1. Ensure that accessible content production is possible
    • B.2.1.1 Accessible Content Possible (WCAG): The authoring tool does not place restrictions on the web content that authors can specify or those restrictions do not prevent WCAG 2.0 success criteria from being met. (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
  • B.2.2. Guide authors to produce accessible content
    • B.2.2.1 Accessible Option Prominence (WCAG): If authors are provided with a choice of authoring actions for achieving the same authoring outcome (e.g. styling text), then options that will result in accessible web content (WCAG) are at least as prominent as options that will not. (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
    • B.2.2.2 Setting Accessibility Properties (WCAG): If the authoring tool provides mechanisms to set web content properties (e.g. attribute values), then mechanisms are also provided to set web content properties related to accessibility information (WCAG). (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
  • B.2.3. Assist authors with managing alternative content for non-text content
    • B.2.3.1 Alternative Content is Editable (WCAG): If the authoring tool provides functionality for adding non-text content, then authors are able to modify programmatically associated text alternatives for non-text content. (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
    • B.2.3.2 Automating Repair of Text Alternatives: The authoring tool does not attempt to repair text alternatives for non-text content or the following are all true: (Level A)
      • (a) No Generic or Irrelevant Strings: Generic strings (e.g. "image") and irrelevant strings (e.g. the file name, file format) are not used as text alternatives; and
      • (b) In-Session Repairs: If the repair attempt occurs during an authoring session, authors have the opportunity to accept, modify, or reject the repair attempt prior to insertion of the text alternative into the content; and
      • (c) Out-of-Session Repairs: If the repair attempt occurs after an authoring session has ended, the repaired text alternatives are indicated during subsequent authoring sessions (if any) and authors have the opportunity to accept, modify, or reject the repair strings prior to insertion in the content.
    • B.2.3.3 Save for Reuse: If the authoring tool provides the functionality for adding non-text content, when authors enter programmatically associated text alternatives for non-text content, then both of the following are true: (Level AAA)
      • (a) Save and Suggest: The text alternatives are automatically saved and suggested by the authoring tool, if the same non-text content is reused; and
      • (b) Edit Option: The author has the option to edit or delete the saved text alternatives.
  • B.2.4. Assist authors with accessible templates
    • B.2.4.1 Accessible Template Options (WCAG): If the authoring tool provides templates, then there are accessible template (WCAG) options for a range of template uses. (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
    • B.2.4.2 Identify Template Accessibility: If the authoring tool includes a template selection mechanism and provides any non-accessible template (WCAG) options, then the template selection mechanism can display distinctions between the accessible and non-accessible options. (Level AA)
    • B.2.4.3 Author-Created Templates: If the authoring tool includes a template selection mechanism and allows authors to create new non-accessible templates (WCAG), then authors can enable the template selection mechanism to display distinctions between accessible and non-accessible templates that they create. (Level AA)
    • B.2.4.4 Accessible Template Options (Enhanced): If the authoring tool provides templates, then all of the templates are accessible template (to WCAG Level AA). (Level AAA)
  • B.2.5. Assist authors with accessible pre-authored content
    • B.2.5.1 Accessible Pre-Authored Content Options: If the authoring tool provides pre-authored content, then a range of accessible pre-authored content (to WCAG Level AA) options are provided. (Level AA)
    • B.2.5.2 Identify Pre-Authored Content Accessibility: If the authoring tool includes a pre-authored content selection mechanism and provides any non-accessible pre-authored content (WCAG Level AA) options, then the selection mechanism can display distinctions between the accessible and non-accessible options. (Level AA)

B.3. Authors are supported in improving the accessibility of existing content

  • B.3.1. Assist authors in checking for accessibility problems
    • B.3.1.1 Checking Assistance (WCAG): If the authoring tool provides authors with the ability to add or modify web content in such a way that a WCAG 2.0 success criterion can be violated, then accessibility checking for that success criterion is provided (e.g. an HTML authoring tool that inserts images should check for alternative text; a video authoring tool with the ability to edit text tracks should check for captions). (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
    • B.3.1.2 Help Authors Decide: If the authoring tool provides accessibility checking that relies on authors to decide whether potential web content accessibility problems (WCAG) are correctly identified (i.e. manual checking and semi-automated checking), then the accessibility checking process provides instructions that describe how to decide. (Level A)
    • B.3.1.3 Help Authors Locate: If the authoring tool provides checks that require authors to decide whether a potential web content accessibility problem (WCAG) is correctly identified (i.e. manual checking and semi-automated checking), then the relevant content is identified to the authors. (Level A)
    • B.3.1.4 Status Report: If the authoring tool provides checks, then authors can receive an accessibility status report based on the results of the accessibility checks. (Level AA)
    • B.3.1.5 Programmatic Association of Results: If the authoring tool provides checks, then the authoring tool can programmatically associate accessibility checking results with the web content that was checked. (Level AA)
  • B.3.2. Assist authors in repairing accessibility problems
    • B.3.2.1 Repair Assistance (WCAG): If checking (see Success Criterion B.3.1.1) can detect that a WCAG 2.0 success criterion is not met, then repair suggestion(s) are provided (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)

B.4. Authoring tools promote and integrate their accessibility features

  • B.4.1. Ensure the availability of features that support the production of accessible content
    • B.4.1.1 Features Active by Default: All accessible content support features are turned on by default. (Level A)
    • B.4.1.2 Option to Reactivate Features: The authoring tool does not include the option to turn off its accessible content support features or features which have been turned off can be turned back on. (Level A)
    • B.4.1.3 Feature Deactivation Warning: The authoring tool does not include the option to turn off its accessible content support features or, if these features can be turned off, authors are informed that this may increase the risk of content accessibility problems (WCAG). (Level AA)
    • B.4.1.4 Feature Prominence: All accessible content support features are at least as prominent as features related to either invalid markup, syntax errors, spelling errors or grammar errors. (Level AA)
  • B.4.2. Ensure that documentation promotes the production of accessible content
    • B.4.2.1 Model Practice (WCAG): A range of examples in the documentation (e.g. markup, screen shots of WYSIWYG editing-views) demonstrate accessible authoring practices (WCAG). (Level A to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A success criteria; Level AA to meet WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA success criteria; Level AAA to meet all WCAG 2.0 success criteria)
    • B.4.2.2 Feature Instructions: Instructions for using any accessible content support features appear in the documentation. (Level A)
    • B.4.2.3 Tutorial: The authoring tool provides a tutorial for an accessible authoring process that is specific to that authoring tool. (Level AAA)
    • B.4.2.4 Instruction Index: The authoring tool documentation contains an index to the instructions for using any accessible content support features. (Level AAA)

Source material