4.1.3 Accessibility-supported technologies only

Use accessibility-supported technologies. Any information or functionality that is implemented in technologies that are not accessibility supported must also be available via technologies that are accessibility supported. (4.1.3)


Technology features can be relied upon to conform to WCAG 2.0 success criteria only if they are used in a way that is accessibility supported.

Technology is accessibility supported when assistive technologies work with the technology and when the accessibility features of mainstream technologies work with the technology. Using a technology in a way that is accessibility supported means that it works with assistive technologies (AT) and the accessibility features of operating systems, browsers and other user agents.

In example, if a video is accessibility supported on a web page or in an application, a number of things are in place. It is briefly labelled in text so a user knows what the video is (e.g., "Excerpt from the movie Bambi"). The media player or the operating system offers the ability to display captions and provide audio descriptions. All the controls for operating the media player are keyboard accessible, and assistive technologies such as screen readers properly announce and interact with those controls.

To fully understand what it means for a technology to be accessibility supported, please carefully review the Understanding Accessibility Support section of the Understanding Conformance document of WCAG 2.0.

Development Techniques

Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Any item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient.

General supplements

Only using accessibility-supported technologies to satisfy the checkpoints in this checklist.

There is more to being considered "accessibility supported" than just passing automated checkers, manual testing, and the checkpoint requirements.  The functionality and information provided by the application must be fully available when an assistive technology (AT) is used to access it, or when the accessibility features of an operating system are enabled.

Testing with standard ATs (which at IBM are the JAWS screen reader for desktop applications and VoiceOver for mobile applications) is completed according to AVT3. Where such testing with the AT identifies issues, these must be resolved to satisfy this technique, even if the application has no accessibility issue for a keyboard-only user.

Making any information or functionality that is not accessible also available in a way that is accessibility supported

Not all aspects of an application need to be usable by an AT in a single configuration. One example is a complex interactive chart which employs technologies that do not support screen readers. A means of interacting with the data in the chart must be provided which allows a user of AT to obtain similar information with similar effort. Providing the data in a sortable table could be a way to meet this technique.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

In addition to the General techniques, any item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques deemed sufficient.

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

There are no specific Mobile Native iOS techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General and Web  techniques sections.

Eclipse techniques

There are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint (4.1.3). Follow the General techniques.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

There are no specific Windows-based techniques for this checkpoint (4.1.3). Follow the General techniques.

Most links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

Copyright © 1994-2017 World Wide Web Consortium, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, Keio University, Beihang University). All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2001, 2017 IBM Corporation