WCAG 2.1 Compliance

SearchStax Site Search solution clients sometimes ask if our JS Frameworks are WCAG 2.1 compliant.

We’ve designed our Search UI Toolkit as a flexible foundation for developers to build customized search experiences. While our JS Frameworks provide a robust starting point, we understand that each implementation has unique requirements, including accessibility.

We encourage developers to augment and tailor the provided base to meet specific needs, including compliance with WCAG 2.1 standards. Our role is to provide a strong, adaptable core, upon which developers can implement additional features such as accessibility, ensuring their search solutions are inclusive and accessible to all users.

What is WCAG 2.1?

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 cover a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible to people with disabilities, including accommodations for blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these, and some accommodation for learning disabilities and cognitive limitations.

The guidelines include additional markup and data that screen readers can read aloud, tagging for keyword navigation, visual guidelines for colors, and more.

It’s the responsibility of individual website owners and developers to ensure that their sites are configured to meet WCAG guidelines for the various experiences, content types, navigation interfaces, and other site-specific features.

Visual Media

Search result pages can include thumbnail images, image galleries, or video snippets. If these are included in search results, they may need additional tagging including image alt description and descriptive filename or video title, description, and captions for any spoken dialog included in a video snippet.

You may need to add additional fields to your search index (such as image description or captions) so that they can be included in each search result.

Inputs, Navigation, and Filtering

Search inputs (including suggested keyword results) may need additional tagging (e.g. tab order) and other functions to support keyboard navigation and selection.

Search result filtering interfaces including facets, filters, and sorting options may need additional functionality to ensure that all selectable options are visible and that input labels are appropriately tied to their relevant input. Inputs may need to support keyboard navigation to select or update options as well as navigate between different inputs.

Search Interface

Other critical WCAG guidelines include ensuring that text is large enough with enough background contrast to be perceptible. Colors for text, inputs, and other interface items should have enough contrast ratio so that they can be perceived against the backdrop and should not use color alone to convey information.

Other accessibility considerations may include how content is displayed and updated to ensure that users can consistently find interface items and search results as they continue to refine or update their search keywords.

Additional WCAG Resources

Since every site and search experience is different it is up to individual site developers and maintainers to ensure that the information and user experience meets WCAG guidelines.


Do not hesitate to contact the SearchStax Support Desk.