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Instructor Accessibility Guide Results Dictionary

Summary: A complete list of all Results Icons used in the Pope Tech Instructor Accessibility Guide.

Errors

Items flagged by the error icon are accessibility errors that need to be fixed.

Alerts

Alerts likely have an accessibility impact but need to be reviewed manually. The accessibility impact can vary based on context.

Features

The features response category points out when the web pages contain common accessibility features. These are things that improve accessibility if used correctly.

Structure

Using proper structural elements in designing websites, web pages, and content can increase overall web page accessibility. Conversely, the misuse of these structural elements can result in blocked accessibility by Assistive Technologies.

Icon Details

Missing alternative text

What It Means

Image alternative text is not present.

Why It Matters

Each image must have an alt attribute. Without alternative text, the content of an image will not be available to screen reader users or when the image is unavailable.

What To Do

Add an alt attribute to the image. The attribute value should accurately and succinctly present the content and function of the image. If the content of the image is conveyed in the context or surroundings of the image, or if the image does not convey content or have a function, it should be given empty/null alternative text (alt=””).

The Algorithm… in English

An image does not have an alt attribute.

Standards and Guidelines

What It Means

An image without alternative text results in an empty link.

Why It Matters

Images that are the only thing within a link must have descriptive alternative text. If an image is within a link that contains no text and that image does not provide alternative text, a screen reader has no content to present to the user regarding the function of the link.

What To Do

Add appropriate alternative text that presents the content of the image and/or the function of the link.

The Algorithm… in English

An image without alternative text (missing alt attribute or an alt value that is null/empty or only space characters) is within a link that does not contain text and an image with alternative text.

Standards and Guidelines

Empty heading

What It Means

A heading contains no content.

Why It Matters

Some users, especially keyboard and screen reader users, often navigate by heading elements. An empty heading will present no information and may introduce confusion.

What To Do

Ensure that all headings contain informative content.

The Algorithm… in English

A heading element is present that contains no text (or only spaces) and no images with alternative text.

Standards and Guidelines

What It Means

A link contains no text.

Why It Matters

If a link contains no text, the function or purpose of the link will not be presented to the user. This can introduce confusion for keyboard and screen reader users.

What To Do

Remove the empty link or provide text within the link that describes the functionality and/or target of that link.

The Algorithm… in English

An anchor element has an href attribute, but contains no text (or only spaces) and no images with alternative text.

Standards and Guidelines

Empty table header

What It Means

A <th> (table header) contains no text.

Why It Matters

The <th> element helps associate table cells with the correct row/column headers. A <th> that contains no text may result in cells with missing or incorrect header information.

What To Do

If the table cell is a header, provide text within the cell that describes the column or row. If the cell is not a header or must remain empty (such as the top-left cell in a data table), make the cell a <td> rather than a <th>.

The Algorithm… in English

A <th> element does not contain any text (or contains only spaces) and no images with alternative text.

Standards and Guidelines

Very Low Contrast

What It Means

Very low contrast between foreground and background colors.

Why It Matters

Adequate contrast is necessary for all users, especially users with low vision.

What To Do

Increase the contrast between the foreground (text) color and the background color. Large text (larger than 18 point or 14 point bold) does not require as much contrast as smaller text.

The Algorithm… in English

Text is present that has a contrast ratio less than 4.5:1, or large text (larger than 18 point or 14 point bold) has a contrast ratio less than 3:1. Elements with background images must have a background color defined that provides adequate contrast when images are disabled or unavailable.

Standards and Guidelines

Suspicious alternative text

What It Means

Alternative text is likely insufficient or contains extraneous information.

Why It Matters

If the alternative text for an image does not provide the same content or information conveyed by the image, that content will not be available to screen reader users and when images are unavailable.

What To Do

Ensure that the alternative text for the image or image input provides a succinct, yet equivalent alternative to the content and function of the image. Screen readers and browser presentation inform the user that the object is an image, so alternative text of “image of…” (and similar) should be avoided. If the image does not convey content or if the content is presented in nearby text (e.g., a caption), null/empty alternative text (alt=””) is appropriate.

The Algorithm… in English

The alt text value of an image or image button:
  • begins with “graphic of”, “bullet”, or “image of”,
  • ends with “image” or “graphic”,
  • contains only space characters (alt=” “),
  • is an image file name (e.g. alt=”photo.gif”), or
  • is one of the following: “image”, “graphic”, “photo”, “photograph”, “drawing”, “painting”, “artwork”, “logo”, “bullet”, “button”, “arrow”, “more”, “spacer”, “blank”, “chart”, “table”, “diagram”, “graph”, or “*”.

Standards and Guidelines

Redundant alternative text

What It Means

The alternative text for an image is the same as nearby or adjacent text.

Why It Matters

Alternative text that is the same as nearby or adjacent text will be presented multiple times to screen readers or when images are unavailable.

What To Do

Change either the alternative text or the adjacent text to eliminate the redundancy. In most cases, you can give the image empty/null alternative text (alt=””) because the content of the image is already provided in context through text. Linked images may often be combined with the adjacent text into one link, in which case the image may be given null/empty alternative text (alt=””).

The Algorithm… in English

The alternative text is the same as text that is within 15 characters of the image.

Standards and Guidelines

A nearby image has the same alternative text

What It Means

Two images near each other have the same alternative text.

Why It Matters

When two images have the same alternative text, this often causes redundancy or indicates incorrect alternative text.

What To Do

Ensure that the alternative text for each image or image button is appropriate while removing unnecessary redundancy. If the content of the image is already conveyed elsewhere (through text or the alternative text of a nearby image) or if the image does not convey content, the image may generally be given empty/null alternative text (alt=””). Image buttons always convey a specific function, and thus cannot be given null alternative text.

The Algorithm… in English

The same alternative text (case insensitive, but not null/empty) is present for two images or image buttons (<input type=’image’>) near each other (no more than 2 other images separate them).

Standards and Guidelines

Long alternative text

What It Means

An image has very long alternative text.

Why It Matters

Alternative text should be succinct, yet descriptive of the content and function of an image. Lengthy alternative text (more than around 100 characters) often indicates that extraneous content or content that is not available to sighted users is being presented.

What To Do

Ensure the alternative text is succinct, yet descriptive. Ensure that no content is being presented in alternative text that is not available to sighted users viewing the image. When possible, either shorten the alternative text or provide the text alternative via another method (e.g., in text near the image, through a separate description page, etc.).

The Algorithm… in English

The image’s alt attribute value is more than 100 characters. Note that the 100 character limit is a rough and somewhat arbitrary length. For images that present complex content or lengthy text, alternative text longer than 100 characters may be appropriate.

Standards and Guidelines

No heading structure

What It Means

The page has no headings.

Why It Matters

Headings (<h1>-<h6>) provide important document structure, outlines, and navigation functionality to assistive technology users.

What To Do

Provide a clear, consistent heading structure, generally one <h1> and sub-headings as appropriate. Except for very simple pages, most web pages should have a heading structure.

The Algorithm… in English

No <h1>-<h6> elements are present in the page.

Standards and Guidelines

Skipped heading level

What It Means

A heading level is skipped.

Why It Matters

Headings provide document structure and facilitate keyboard navigation by users of assistive technology. These users may be confused or experience difficulty navigating when heading levels are skipped.

What To Do

Restructure the document headings to ensure that heading levels are not skipped.

The Algorithm… in English

A heading level is skipped (e.g., an <h1> is followed by an <h3>, with no intermediate <h2>). Note that an <h1> is not required to be the first heading within the document.

Standards and Guidelines

Layout table

What It Means

A layout table is present.

Why It Matters

Layout tables exist merely to position content visually – to create columns, insert spacing, or align content neatly for sighted users. Their content is not at all tabular in nature. Layout tables should not be used in HTML5. They can introduce reading and navigation order issues. Screen readers may interpret them as data tables (i.e., announcing column and row numbers), especially if they contain table header (<th>) cells. This introduces significant overhead on screen reader users.

What To Do

In almost every case, layout tables can be replaced with other HTML elements and styled with CSS to achieve the desired visual presentation. If the table contains tabular data, provide appropriate header (<th>) cells. If the layout table remains, verify that the reading and navigation order of table content (based on underlying source code order) is logical and give it role=”presentation” to ensure it is not identified as a table to screen reader users.

The Algorithm… in English

A <table> element is present that does not contain any header (<th>) cells.

Standards and Guidelines

Possible table caption

What It Means

Text appears to be a table caption, but is not a caption element.

Why It Matters

A table caption should be associated with a table using the <caption> element so it will be read by a screen reader with the table content.

What To Do

If the text is a description of the table, associate the text with the table using the <caption> element (<caption> should be the first element within the <table>).

The Algorithm… in English

A data table (has at least one table header) that does not already have a caption has: – A colspan attribute value of 3 or greater on the first cell of the table. – A

element immediately before the table that contains less than 50 characters or contains less than 100 characters and is bold and/or centered.

Standards and Guidelines

What It Means

Link text contains extraneous text or may not make sense out of context.

Why It Matters

Links, which are often read out of context, should clearly describe the destination or function of the link. Ambiguous text, text that does not make sense out of context, and extraneous text (such as “click here”) can cause confusion and should be avoided.

What To Do

Where appropriate, reword the link text so that it is more descriptive of its destination when read out of context. Remove any extraneous text (such as “click here”).

The Algorithm… in English

A link (including alt text of linked images) contains the phrase “click here” or “click”, or the link text is “click here”, “here”, “more”, “more…”, “details”, “more details”, “link”, “this page”, “continue”, “continue reading”, “read more”, or “button”.

Standards and Guidelines

What It Means

Adjacent links go to the same URL.

Why It Matters

When adjacent links go to the same location (such as a linked product image and an adjacent linked product name that go to the same product page) this results in additional navigation and repetition for keyboard and screen reader users.

What To Do

If possible, combine the redundant links into one link and remove any redundant text or alternative text (for example, if a product image and product name are in the same link, the image can usually be given alt=””).

The Algorithm… in English

Two adjacent links go to the same URL.

Standards and Guidelines

What It Means

A link to a non-Canvas Microsoft Word document is present.

Why It Matters

Unless authored with accessibility in mind, Microsoft Word documents often have accessibility issues. Additionally, Word documents are typically viewed using a separate application, and can thus cause confusion and navigation difficulties.

What To Do

Ensure that the Word document is natively accessible. Additionally, inform the user that the link will open a Word document. Because Word documents have limitations in accessibility (particularly for complex content) and require a separate program, HTML content should usually be used in place of or in addition to the Word document.

The Algorithm… in English

A link to a .doc or .docx file is present.

Standards and Guidelines

  • None

What It Means

A link to a non-Canvas Microsoft Excel spreadsheet is present.

Why It Matters

Unless authored with accessibility in mind, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets often have accessibility issues. Additionally, Excel documents are typically viewed using a separate application, and can thus cause confusion and navigation difficulties.

What To Do

Ensure the Excel spreadsheet is natively accessible. Additionally, inform the user that the link will open an Excel spreadsheet. Because Excel spreadsheets have limitations in accessibility (particularly for complex content) and require a separate program, HTML content should usually be used in place of or in addition to the Excel spreadsheet.

The Algorithm… in English

A link to a .xls or .xlsx file is present.

Standards and Guidelines

  • None

What It Means

A link to a non-Canvas Microsoft PowerPoint presentation is present.

Why It Matters

Unless authored with accessibility in mind, PowerPoint documents often have accessibility issues. Additionally, PowerPoint documents are typically viewed using a separate application, and can thus cause confusion and navigation difficulties.

What To Do

Ensure the PowerPoint presentation is natively accessible. Additionally, inform the user that the link will open a PowerPoint document. Because PowerPoint documents have limitations in accessibility (particularly for complex content) and require a separate program, HTML content or an alternative accessible version (e.g., tagged PDF) should usually be used in place of or in addition to the PowerPoint presentation.

The Algorithm… in English

A link to a .ppt, .pptx, .pps, or .ppsx file is present.

Standards and Guidelines

  • None

What It Means

A link to a non-Canvas PDF document is present.

Why It Matters

Unless authored with accessibility in mind, PDF documents often have accessibility issues. Additionally, PDF documents are typically viewed using a separate application or plug-in, and can thus cause confusion and navigation difficulties.

What To Do

Ensure the PDF document is natively accessible. Additionally, inform the user that the link will open a PDF document. Because PDF documents may have limitations in accessibility (particularly for complex content) and require a separate program, HTML content should often be used in place of or in addition to the PDF document.

The Algorithm… in English

A link to a .pdf file is present.

Standards and Guidelines

  • None

What It Means

A link to a non-Canvas non-HTML document is present.

Why It Matters

Unless authored with accessibility in mind, documents that are not HTML often have accessibility issues. Additionally, these documents are typically viewed using a separate application, and can thus cause confusion and navigation difficulties.

What To Do

Ensure the document is authored to be accessible, if possible. Additionally, inform the user that the link will open in a separate program. Because these documents have limitations in accessibility (particularly for complex content) and require a separate program, an accessible format should usually be used in place of or in addition to the document.

The Algorithm… in English

A link to a .rtf, .wpd, .ods, .odt, .odp, .sxw, .sxc, .sxd, .sxi, .pages, or .key file is present. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and PDF are identified with separate icons.

Standards and Guidelines

  • None

Very small text

What It Means

Text is very small.

Why It Matters

Text which is very small is difficult to read, particularly for those with low vision.

What To Do

Increase the text to a more readable size.

The Algorithm… in English

Text is present that is sized 10 pixels or smaller.

Standards and Guidelines

  • None

Underlined text

What It Means

Underlined text is present.

Why It Matters

Underlines almost universally indicates linked text. Consider removing the underline from the non-link text. Other styling (e.g., bold or italics) can be used to differentiate the text.

What To Do

Unless there is a distinct need for the underlined text, remove the underline from it.

The Algorithm… in English

A <u> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

  • None

Possible List

What It Means

Text is structured like a list but lacks proper list semantics.

Why It Matters

Ordered and unordered lists, when properly defined, provide useful information to users, such as an indication of the list type and number of list items. When text alone is used to present list structures and content, these benefits are lost.

What To Do

If list content is presented, semantically define the list.

The Algorithm… in English

Text is used to present list-type content, such as:
* text
1. text
a. text
1) text
a) text
– text

Standards and Guidelines

  • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A)

Alternative text

What It Means

Image alternative text is present.

Why It Matters

Alternative text presents the content or function of an image to screen reader users or in other situations where images cannot be seen or are unavailable.

What To Do

Ensure that the alternative text conveys the content and function of the image accurately and succinctly. The alt attribute should be equivalent, accurate, and succinct.

The Algorithm… in English

A non-empty alt attribute is present on an image.

Standards and Guidelines

Null or empty alternative text

What It Means

Alternative text is null or empty (alt=””).

Why It Matters

If an image does not convey content or if the content of the image is conveyed elsewhere (such as in a caption or nearby text), the image should have empty/null alternative text (alt=””) to ensure that it is ignored by a screen reader and is hidden when images are disabled or unavailable.

What To Do

Ensure that the image does not convey content or that the content of the image is conveyed in nearby text (e.g., a caption).

The Algorithm… in English

An image has alt=””.

Standards and Guidelines

What It Means

Alternative text is present for an image that is within a link.

Why It Matters

Including appropriate alternative text on an image within a link ensures that the function and purpose of the link and the content of the image is available to screen reader users or when images are unavailable.

What To Do

Ensure that the alternative text presents the content of the image and/or the function of the link. If the full content and function of the link is presented in text within the link (an image and a text caption both within the same link, for example), then the image should generally be given empty/null alternative text (alt=””) to avoid redundancy.

The Algorithm… in English

An image element has non-empty alternative text, is within a link, and no other text (or images with alternative text) is present within the link.

Standards and Guidelines

Heading level 1

What It Means

A first level heading (<h1> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Headings facilitate page navigation for users of assistive technologies. They also provide semantic and visual meaning and structure to the document. First level headings should contain the most important heading(s) on the page (generally the document title).

What To Do

Ensure that the text in question is truly a heading and that it is structured correctly in the page outline.

The Algorithm… in English

An <h1> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

Heading level 2

What It Means

A second level heading (<h2> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Headings facilitate page navigation for users of assistive technologies. They also provide semantic and visual meaning and structure to the document.

What To Do

Ensure that the text in question is truly a heading and that it is structured correctly in the page outline.

The Algorithm… in English

An <h2> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

Heading level 3

What It Means

A third level heading (<h3> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Headings facilitate page navigation for users of assistive technologies. They also provide semantic and visual meaning and structure to the document.

What To Do

Ensure that the text in question is truly a heading and that it is structured correctly in the page outline.

The Algorithm… in English

An <h3> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

Heading level 4

What It Means

A fourth level heading (<h4> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Headings facilitate page navigation for users of assistive technologies. They also provide semantic and visual meaning and structure to the document.

What To Do

Ensure that the text in question is truly a heading and that it is structured correctly in the page outline.

The Algorithm… in English

An <h4> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

Heading level 5

What It Means

A fifth level heading (<h5> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Headings facilitate page navigation for users of assistive technologies. They also provide semantic and visual meaning and structure to the document.

What To Do

Ensure that the text in question is truly a heading and that it is structured correctly in the page outline.

The Algorithm… in English

An <h5> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

Heading level 6

What It Means

A sixth level heading (<h6> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Headings facilitate page navigation for users of assistive technologies. They also provide semantic and visual meaning and structure to the document.

What To Do

Ensure that the text in question is truly a heading and that it is structured correctly in the page outline.

The Algorithm… in English

An <h6> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

Ordered list

What It Means

An ordered (numbered) list (<ol> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Ordered lists present a group of related sequential items. Users of assistive technologies can navigate by and within lists.

What To Do

Ensure that an ordered (numbered) list is appropriate for the context. If list items are parallel or the order of the items is not important, an unordered list (<ul>) is likely more appropriate.

The Algorithm… in English

An <ol> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines

Unordered list

What It Means

An unordered (bulleted) list (<ul> element) is present.

Why It Matters

Ordered lists present a group of related, parallel items. Users of many assistive technologies can navigate by and within lists.

What To Do

Ensure that an unordered (bulleted) list is appropriate for the context. If list items are sequential or numbered, an ordered list (<ol>) is likely more appropriate.

The Algorithm… in English

A <ul> element is present.

Standards and Guidelines