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An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Reference materials

Can you easily access supplementary information clarifying the content?

Why it’s important: Gilbert reads at a twelfth-grade level but isn’t familiar with the nuances of a site’s subject matter; to fully understand the site content, he needs easy-to-access contextual information.

Steps to take

  • Consider defining technical or other potentially unfamiliar terms in line; this creates a much more continuous reading experience for the user.
  • If you find that you need to define a large number of terms within your content, consider adding a separate glossary page.
  • Use hyperlinks or a tooltip rather than footnotes to direct users to definitions. Footnotes can create a jarring reading experience, and they may not render correctly on mobile devices.

WCAG 2.0 references

3.1.3 Unusual Words

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