Essential Components of Web Accessibility | Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) | W3C

Essential Components of Web Accessibility


This page shows how web accessibility depends on several components working together, and how improvements in specific components could substantially improve web accessibility.

It provides the foundation for understanding the different accessibility standards developed by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

Page Contents

  • How the Components Relate
  • Interdependencies Between Components
  • Guidelines and Other Standards


It is essential that several different components of web development and interaction work together in order for the web to be accessible to people with disabilities. These components include:

  • content – the information in a web page or web application, including:
    • natural information such as text, images, and sounds
    • code or markup that defines structure, presentation, etc.
  • web browsers, media players, and other “user agents”
  • assistive technology, in some cases – screen readers, alternative keyboards, switches, scanning software, etc.
  • users’ knowledge, experiences, and in some cases, adaptive strategies using the web
  • developers – designers, coders, authors, etc., including developers with disabilities and users who contribute content
  • authoring tools – software that creates websites
  • evaluation tools – web accessibility evaluation tools, HTML validators, CSS validators, etc.

How the Components Relate

Web developers usually use authoring tools and evaluation tools to create web content.

People (“users”) use web browsers, media players, [...]

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