Four Principals of IT Accessibility

By Michelle Bagur  |  Posted 2010-09-22 Print this article Print

Four principals of IT accessibility

The WCAG also include a list of checkpoints-the first step in compliance verification. According to the WCAG, four principals form the foundation of IT accessibility:

Principal No. 1: Perceivable

User interfaces and any information contained within them must be easily viewable. There also should be alternative ways to read text and access video content (that is, closed captioning). All content must be distinguishable.

Principal No. 2: Operable

Users must be able to navigate Websites and applications via a keyboard and a mouse, and they should be provided with tools or assistive technology shortcuts to determine basic navigation. Developers cannot enforce time limits on Websites and applications unless there are reasonable security concerns that justify such constraints.

Principal No. 3: Understandable

Text should be readable and understandable, Web pages should be predictable and users should have access to input assistance that allows them to correct mistakes.

Principal No. 4: Robust

Content cannot conflict with assistive technologies and it must be robust enough that those technologies can reliably interpret it. For accessibility purposes, all content must provide role names and descriptions and use well-formed markup language.

Michelle Bagur is a Senior Developer at EffectiveUI where she specializes in accessibility in Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). Michelle began her programming career in the gaming industry in Dallas and later moved to Denver to develop medical simulators utilizing haptic devices and advanced three-dimensional technology. Michelle earned her Master's degree in Integrated Science (a combination of computer science, physics and biology) from the University of Colorado at Denver before moving into the world of RIA development. She particularly enjoys the synthesis of technologies and platforms that RIA development encourages. She can be reached at

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