Where templates are provided, templates allowing content creation that conforms to Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements in WCAG 2.1 shall be provided for a range of template uses for supported features and, as applicable, to file formats supported by the authoring tool.


The Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 define templates as follows:

"Content patterns that are filled in by authors or the authoring tool to produce web content for end users (e.g. document templates, content management templates, presentation themes). Often templates will pre-specify at least some authoring decisions."


The ATAG guidelines state that providing accessible templates can have several benefits, including:

  • immediately improving the accessibility of the content being edited
  • reducing the effort required of authors, and
  • demonstrating the importance of accessible content.

The templates identified as being accessible must have their output verified against all checkpoints in the WCAG section of the checklist.

Note: Although the Revised Section 508 Standards in the US only require Authoring Tools to conform to WCAG 2.0, European standard EN 301 549 V2.1.2 requires WCAG 2.1. To ensure products conform in both jurisdictions, IBM requires that the more recent version of WCAG is met.

General techniques

Instructions: Items in this section represent ATAG techniques deemed sufficient to address particular ATAG guidelines which can be used to help meet this checkpoint.

Many links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

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