Accessibility Guide

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Each article can be filtered by role (content creator or developer), or by a range of topics (links, headings, navigation, etc.). You can also adjust how many items are shown per page, and navigate by the pager.

Definition of roles

Content creator: Website editor, instructor working in canvas

Developer: Web admin or developer, mainly working on web themes or complex applications

Note about roles

Roles are determined by the person most likely responsible for an area of web design and development. Guidelines can overlap, and depending on a project or site, the responsibilities may fluctuate.

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New in WCAG 2.2

If users need to reach out to someone or get help, it's easier to find when located in the same spot across multiple pages. When help info or a mechanism moves around between similar pages, some users may have trouble finding help or completing a task, or give up entirely.

Applicable Roles

Content Creator Designer

Identifying the language of the page, or inline content as needed, is important for assistive technology so they can present content with the right pronunciation and spelling. It can also help browsers present the content in line with the user's settings.

Applicable Roles


Embedded content like videos, maps, social media widgets or job feeds are typically placed in an iframe. The title attribute provides an accessible name that tells the user what kind of content is embedded, and how to interact with it.

Applicable Roles

Content Creator Developer

Users that navigate by keyboard need a way to quickly jump over repeated sections of the content like headers and navigation. Adding a skip to main content link helps users get to the main content quicker, with less fatigue and frustration.

Applicable Roles


Images need text alternatives so users know what the image's purpose is and how it relates to the content. An alternative description can also provide the image's context in case it fails to load.

Applicable Roles

Content Creator Developer

WCAG 2.1 and WCAG 2.2

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 is the most recent baseline W3C Recommendation for developing accessible web content. WCAG is based on four principles:

  1. Perceivable: users must be able to detect the content using a variety of senses.
  2. Operable: users must be able to navigate and use all functionality in web content.
  3. Understandable: users need web content that is readable and predictable.
  4. Robust: users can still access content, even if technologies update or change.

As of today, Washington state policy requires WCAG 2.1 as the accessibility standard. However, we recommend meeting WCAG 2.2, as 2.2 is backward compatible and satisfies 2.1 criteria, in addition to new criteria added in 2023.

ARIA 1.2

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) provides a range of information to users about complex widgets and states of other interfaces.

Note: semantic HTML should be used instead of ARIA whenever possible.

There are resources for learning more about using ARIA when needed: