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Out-of-the-box accessibility features

Updated on October 21, 2022
Applicable to Cosmos React and Theme Cosmos applications

Because accessibility is a design principle rather than a set of options that the user can enable or disable, many of its features are included by default in the architecture of Pega Platform applications.

With no single setting to control accessibility, building an inclusive interface requires little additional effort apart from the consistent use of existing accessibility frameworks.

Accessibility features

Keyboard and screen reader navigation
Keyboard accessibility, or the ability to reach and operate any UI element by keyboard alone, is necessary for users with motor and visual disabilities. UI components are developed in accordance with WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1. Consequently, most Pega UI components support accessible navigation without additional markup or configuration.

For more information, see Supported keyboard navigation.

WAI-ARIA roles
The Pega Platform accessibility architecture relies primarily on HTML 5 semantics, but uses WAI-ARIA markup where HTML is not sufficient, for example, to convey rich application functionalities. WAI-ARIA roles provide additional information about your application to assistive technologies, such as screen readers. Consequently, the user can be constantly aware of the roles, states, and properties of interface components.

For more information, see WAI-ARIA roles in a screen layout.

Labels, placeholders, and alternative text help users understand the UI and visualize the tasks that they must complete. Controls and layouts include fields for text aids by default.

For more information, see Adding text to controls.

Table navigation
Optimized table layouts support WAI-ARIA keyboard navigation standards.

For more information, see the Tables row in Supported keyboard navigation.

Skip links
Skip links provide users with tools to navigate to the most important parts of the application, and represent one of the most basic accessibility requirements. For example, a skip link can direct the user straight to the navigation menu, so that the user does not have to tab through the page to reach it.

Pega Platform automatically adds a default pySkipLinksToTarget section to your application. The section provides skip links to the main content, the search bar, and the navigation pane, so that you do not need to configure it.

Error alert management
Application forms support client-side and server-side validation by default. If the application detects an error, the application communicates the problem to the user in text, in a manner that is clear, specific, and accessible to screen readers.

For more information, see the Error messages row in Supported keyboard navigation.

PDF/UA files
By default, PDF files that a Pega application generates use the accessible PDF/UA ISO standard. While you can change this setting to improve archiving, this is not a recommended practice.

For more information, see Setting PDF file versions.

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