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Web Design Accessibility Recommendation Checkpoints


This document which is aptly called “PWAG Web Design Accessibility Recommendation (WDAR) Checkpoints” has been produced as part of the Web Accessibility Initiative of the Philippines through the Philippine Web Accessibility Group. The bases of this document came from the following activities and actions:

  1. Series of discussions from among the members of the Accessibleweb Yahoo Group from September 2006 to January 2007;
  2. Existing checkpoint criteria used by the National Computer Center Team in monitoring the Manila ICT Design Recommendations compliance of web sites of the participants who attended the three ICT Web Accessibility Workshops;
  3. Series of meetings of the PWAG core group members and concerned Persons with Disabilities sector together with the representatives of the National Computer Center (NCC) and the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) held in three separate venues;
  4. Design compliance of the four web sites that received the “Disabled Friendly Web Site Awards” given by NCC and NCDA;
  5. Universal adoption of the Manila Accessible ICT Design Recommendations formulated during the Interregional Seminar and Regional Demonstration Workshop on Accessible Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Persons with Disabilities held in Manila, Philippines from March 3 – 7, 2003 attended by thirteen countries from Asia and the Pacific.

This document is only intended to be used as a guide for web content developers from the Philippines, “.ph” code domain named web sites, web developers from the government and Filipino web designers. This document is also subject to further revisions and updates as the need arises.

Maturity Stages

This term was coined during one of the meetings held between PWAG members and the NCC Team. Each stage indicates a higher degree of maturity in complying with the web design recommendations. Two stages of maturity were formed. The third maturity stage is fully complying with international standards. The stages are:


A web content developer MUST satisfy this stage. Passing this checkpoint is the BASIC requirement in order for the web documents to become accessible. The Manila Accessible ICT Design Recommendations form this stage.


A web content developer SHOULD satisfy this stage. Passing this checkpoint will remove considerable barriers in accessing web documents. The PWAG Web Accessibility Design Recommendations form this stage.


A web content developer is ENCOURAGED to satisfy this stage. Passing this checkpoint would make the website meet the international web accessibility standard guidelines. The Web Content Accessibility Guideline 1.0 Checklist  (WCAG 1.0) from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) form this stage. ALL THE REMAINING CHECKPOINTS NOT COVERED BY BOTH MATURITY STAGES 1 AND 2 are listed below.

Maturity Stage 1 (MS 1) Checkpoints

MS 1-1 Provide an Access Instruction page for visitors explaining the accessibility features of the web site. Put an e-mail hyperlink for visitors to communicate web page accessibility problems. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 1-2 Avoid using words such as “This” or “Click Here” in creating links. Use descriptive hyperlinks to support text browsers. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 1-3 Attach ALT(alternative) text to graphic images so that assistive computer technology such as screen readers can reach the content. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 1-4 Provide a “D” hyperlink to a page providing descriptive text of photographs that contribute meaningful content to the page.

MS 1-5 Provide text transcriptions or descriptions for all audio and video clips.

MS 1-6 Provide alternative mechanisms for online forms such as e-mail or voice/TTY phone numbers since forms are not supported by all browsers.

MS 1-7 Avoid access barriers like: PDF files with no equivalent HTML or ASCII files, non-linear page formats, frame formats and content that requires user to download software to access it.

Maturity Stage 2 (MS 2) Checkpoints

MS 2-1 For ALT texts:{Tip on how to comply}

    MS 2-1-1 Decorative images must contain null ALT text or ALT=””.

    MS 2-1-2 Anchor elements within the Image Maps must contain ALT texts.

    MS 2-1-3 ALT texts that have more than 80 characters long must instead be changed to “D” hyperlink.

MS 2-2 Provide a Site Map with a link appearing on every page.

MS 2-3 All pages must provide a link back to the home page.

MS 2-4 Use Access keys in creating shortcuts to important links and form controls. { Recommended Access Key Assignments }

MS 2-5 Provide a “Skip to Content” link for every page. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 2-6 Make the language that you use in your web site easy to understand. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 2-7 Do not use blinking, rolling or scrolling markup tags on your web pages.

MS 2-8 Provide a LABEL text and ALT text on the input elements of your forms. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 2-9 Avoid using the FONT SIZE markup in your web pages or change the size to relative units.

MS 2-10 Provide a Search form within your site.

MS 2-11 Layout must be navigable even if the page style is turned off.

MS 2-12 Website content must appear clearly even when colors are turned off.

Additional Maturity Stage 2 (MS 2) Checkpoints

Note: Although these checkpoints are recent additions to Maturity Stage 2 Checkpoints, PWAG has already included these in validating sites since 2007 as shown in the Resources Page.

MS 2-13 Provide descriptive titles for every page. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 2-14 Page style must be consistent all throughout the website.

MS 2-15 Provide enough contrast between foreground and background color combinations. {Tip on how to comply}

MS 2-16 Avoid background sounds or music that may distract the user’s focus on the content.

Maturity Stage 3 (MS 3) Checkpoints

Note: Please click on the specified links for each item to go directly to the WCAG 1.0 checklist information and procedure on how to comply.

Priority 1 (8 checkpoints)

1.4 For any time-based multimedia presentation (e.g., a movie or animation), synchronize equivalent alternatives (e.g., captions or auditory descriptions of the visual track) with the presentation.
5.1 For data tables, identify row and column headers.
5.2 For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.
6.1 Ensure that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes.
6.3 Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page.
9.1 Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
11.4 If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible (original) page.
12.1 Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation.

Priority 2 (21 checkpoints)

3.1 When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images to convey information.
3.2 Create documents that validate to published formal grammars.
3.3 Use style sheets to control layout and presentation.
3.5 Use header elements to convey document structure and use them according to specification.
3.6 Mark up lists and list items properly.
3.7 Mark up quotations. Do not use quotation markup for formatting effects such as indentation.
5.3 Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized. Otherwise, if the table does not make sense, provide an alternative equivalent (which may be a linearized version).
5.4 If a table is used for layout, do not use any structural markup for the purpose of visual formatting.
6.4 For scripts and applets, ensure that event handlers are input device-independent.
6.5 Ensure that dynamic content is accessible or provide an alternative presentation or page.
7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement in pages.
7.4 Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh, do not create periodically auto-refreshing pages.
7.5 Until user agents provide the ability to stop auto-redirect, do not use markup to redirect pages automatically. Instead, configure the server to perform redirects.
8.1 Make programmatic elements such as scripts and applets directly accessible or compatible with assistive technologies [Priority 1 if functionality is important and not presented elsewhere, otherwise Priority 2.]
9.2 Ensure that any element that has its own interface can be operated in a device-independent manner.
9.3 For scripts, specify logical event handlers rather than device-dependent event handlers.
11.1 Use W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate for a task and use the latest versions when supported.
11.2 Avoid deprecated features of W3C technologies.
12.3 Divide large blocks of information into more manageable groups where natural and appropriate.
13.2 Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites.
13.4 Use navigation mechanisms in a consistent manner.

Priority 3 (16 checkpoints)

1.5 Until user agents render text equivalents for client-side image map links, provide redundant text links for each active region of a client-side image map.
4.2 Specify the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in a document where it first occurs.
4.3 Identify the primary natural language of a document.
5.5 Provide summaries for tables.
5.6 Provide abbreviations for header labels.
9.4 Create a logical tab order through links, form controls, and objects.
10.3 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render side-by-side text correctly, provide a linear text alternative (on the current page or some other) for all tables that lay out text in parallel, word-wrapped columns.
10.4 Until user agents handle empty controls correctly, include default, place-holding characters in edit boxes and text areas.
10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render adjacent links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links.
11.3 Provide information so that users may receive documents according to their preferences (e.g., language, content type, etc.)
13.5 Provide navigation bars to highlight and give access to the navigation mechanism.
13.8 Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.
13.9 Provide information about document collections (i.e., documents comprising multiple pages.).
13.10 Provide a means to skip over multi-line ASCII art.
14.2 Supplement text with graphic or auditory presentations where they will facilitate comprehension of the page.

View the Comparison between the PWAG Web Design Accessibility Recommendations (WDAR) with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

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