Understanding Success Criterion 3.1.4: Abbreviations

Understanding Success Criterion 3.1.4 Abbreviations

Provide an option to ensure that users can access the expanded form of abbreviations

Official Requirements

Success Criterion 3.1.4 Abbreviations (Level AAA): A mechanism for identifying the expanded form or meaning of abbreviations is available.

Why is it required?

Using abbreviations may confuse readers sometimes, especially when they don’t look like normal words nor follow the usual rules of the language. For example, the word roaming is abbreviated as ‘rmg’ which does not correspond to any English word or phoneme. Furthermore, abbreviations can mean two different things in different contexts. This becomes difficult for users with cognitive disabilities to understand the content. Hence, there should be a mechanism to identify the expanded form or meaning of abbreviations.

How do we fix it?

  • Provide explanations or expansions of the abbreviations right before or after their first occurrence
  • Provide a link to the glossary that explains the abbreviations and remember to include any other definitions or expansions if required, according to the context
  • Provide a way to search the abbreviation online

Picture of Aditya Bikkani

Aditya Bikkani

Aditya is the COO of AELData, a growing technology company in the Digital Publishing and Education sectors. He is also an entrepreneur and founder of an accessibility tool called LERA. A W3C COGA (Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility) Community Member Aditya contributes to researching methodologies to improve web accessibility and usability for people with cognitive and learning disabilities.

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