Version: WCAG 2.0 and up
Number: 1.1.1
Level: A
  • Images/Graphics/Charts
  • Audio
  • Video
  • User Controls (buttons, sliders, etc.)
  • Canvas

All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose, except for the situations listed below.

View exceptions
Controls, Input

If non-text content is a control or accepts user input, then it has a name that describes its purpose. (Refer to Success Criterion 4.1.2 for additional requirements for controls and content that accepts user input.)

Time-Based Media

If non-text content is time-based media, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content. (Refer to Guideline 1.2 for additional requirements for media.)


If non-text content is a test or exercise that would be invalid if presented in text, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.


If non-text content is primarily intended to create a specific sensory experience, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.


If the purpose of non-text content is to confirm that content is being accessed by a person rather than a computer, then text alternatives that identify and describe the purpose of the non-text content are provided, and alternative forms of CAPTCHA using output modes for different types of sensory perception are provided to accommodate different disabilities.

Decoration, Formatting, Invisible

If non-text content is pure decoration, is used only for visual formatting, or is not presented to users, then it is implemented in a way that it can be ignored by assistive technology.



The purpose of this success criterion is to ensure that users who cannot access non-textual content (such as graphics, charts, audio, and video) have access to the information contained in that content in textual form.

How to Meet

How to meet this requirement depends on the complexity of the information expressed. The requirements generally break down along the following lines:

Note that this success criterion only applies to non-text content that expresses information the reader needs to understand. Images that are included purely for aesthetic reasons (e.g., to decorate the start of a new section) do not require text alternatives. As visual readers gain nothing from these images, there is no need for non-visual readers to be made aware of them.

There is also an exception to this success criterion when providing a text alternative would invalidate the purpose of the content. For example, if an author includes a test that requires audio rendering of the question (e.g., to test spelling).

Additional Information

The following knowledge base pages provide more information about how to address this success criterion for publishing content: