This Quick Accessibility Checklist is meant to help faculty and staff who want to develop or modify
Web-based course material, lectures, and assignments in an accessible way.
See also the Section 508 Requirements.
Table of Contents
If you use images, use the ALT tag to provide a clear text
alternative. Descriptive ALT text should provide equivalent information
as the graphic. For complex images, an extended text description may
be needed. If you want a tooltip for an icon, use the TITLE attribute,
not the ALT attribute.
View Details: Images
If you use charts or graphs, provide a text alternative
that summarizes the content of each chart or graph, and make sure color coding
is not the only key used in the chart, but is supplemented with labels
or differences in line shape.
View Details: Charts
If you use mathematical or scientific notation, be sure a screen
reader can access the content either through an ALT tag on an image, an
extended text description or some other mechanism.
View Details: Math
If you use motion or animation, make sure that it’s
necessary and that the flicker rate is lower than 2 Hz. and greater than
55 Hz; animations within these frequencies may trigger epileptic seizures.
If the animation is needed, be sure to provide an alternate text description
that clearly communicates the action and its purpose on a separate page.
View Details: Animation
If you use audio or video files, provide captioning or a description/transcript
in text form. If a transcript is used, then text can be can be on the
same page, or accessed via a hyperlink to a separate page can be placed
near the clip.
View Details: Video and Audio
If you want to upload a PowerPoint file, then make sure all graphics are
labeled and includes appropriate extended descriptions
are included. All audio should be captioned or have a transcript. PowerPoint
files converted to HTML should include ALT tags as needed.
View Details: PowerPoint and Word
If you want to use material from a Word file, then either upload it as
is, recreate the HTML file or convert it to a PDF file. Avoid the Save
as Web fie option in Word as it creates inaccessible files.
View Details: PowerPoint and Word
If you use ANGEL or other course tools, make sure all uploaded images are described,
all uploaded material is accessible and that all quizzes and forms are accessible.
View Details: ANGEL
If you use PDF files, make sure the PDF is restricted to
appropriate uses and that files include labels or tags identifying embedded
images and that text content is stored as text, not as a large image. Links to PDF files should include some sort of indication on the page that the link is different; this will reduce user confusion. When in doubt, create a text-only or HTML version of the content. Section 508 also requires that a Web site provide a link to the Adobe Acrobat Reader download page.
View Details: PDF Files
If you use Adobe Connect, make sure that the tool is usable by a screen reader if a participant is visually impaired. Captions or chat texting should be used if a participant is visually impaired.
View Details: Adobe Connect
If you use ASCII art in e-mail signature, then make sure it is placed
below all the essential contact information so users of screen readers can stop reading the content.
View Details: Chat and E-Mail
Basic HTML tips – Use appropriate H tags to structure your content
into sections and be as concise as possible. Be aware of how screen readers
pronounce acronyms and abbreviations as single words.
View Details: HTML Structure | View Details: Abbreviations
If you want to incorporate color, be sure that none of the content
relies on color coding alone. Color coding should be supplemented by text
in lightness or shape. Contrasts of bright colors and strongly textured
backgrounds should also be avoided to facilitate legibility.
Note: Contrasts of red/green or red/black are the most likely to be confused.
View Details: Color
If you wish to specify a font, consider fonts designed for a computer
monitor such as Arial and Verdana and always use relative sizes. Italics
text should be used minimally, and blinking text should be avoided.
View Details: Fonts
If your page has a block of navigational links on each page, include a "Skip
Navigation" strategy accessible to screen readers.
View Details: Skip Navigation
If your page has links, then make sure the text of the link describes the
location of the new page. Avoid generic "Click Here" links.
View Details: Links
If you use lists, use ordered lists so that items are numbered, or
include the item number within your text.
View Details: Lists
If you use tables, be sure to include header tags for data
tables and that any table makes sense when read left to right,
top to bottom. This is how a screen reader will read them by
View Details: Data Tables | View
Details: Layout Tables
If you use frames, clearly title each frame, file name and use
the TITLE attribute to facilitate navigation and frame identification. Provide
basic navigation for each page in case user enters Frames Free mode.
View Details: Frames
If you use forms, clearly associate form labels with each elements
by placing them to the left of the element. Use of LABEL and FIELDSET
tags can facilitate accessibility.
View Details: Forms
If you need to include equations or formulas, make sure each one
is labeled and that any equation or formula necessary for content includes
to an extended text description which reads out the formula in words.
View Details: Equations and Formulas
If you use multiple languages, make sure to specify the LANG tag
and use appropriate HTML entities for special characters and punctuation.
For languages with low numbers of speakers, an audio transcript may be
needed for full accessibility.
View Details: Languages
- If you use CSS formating, make sure your CSS formatting produces an accessible page and that the page is still functinal if CSS is disabled.
View Details: CSS
If your page includes image rollovers, then make sure the alt tag
includes the most relevant information. For rollovers showing complex concepts,
a link to a text description should be included. If you use image rollovers
to change text formats, consider switching to CSS style sheet rollovers since they are often more accessible.
View Details: Rollovers
If your page includes automatic datestamping, you may want to consider
by a server or Web editor. Otherwise a date would need to be automatically
updated in order to be accessible.
View Details: Date Stamping
If your page includes dropdown or floating menus, then make sure
a text-based menu is included. Floating menus are difficult for screen
users with mobility impairments, and users with some types of cognitive
impairments to use.
View Details: Dropdown and Floating Menus
If your page includes redirects or timed actions (such as clicking OK to continue being logged in), then be sure to provide adequate response
time for users of screen readers or users with mobility impairments. In some
cases, a redirect should be replaced with a static page containing a link.
View Details: Redirects and Other Timed Responses
If your page includes popup windows, make sure a link to the content
for low vision users.
View Details: Popup Windows
If you use dynamic pages, make sure all HTML chunks include accessibility
tags and that ALT tags or frame TITLE tags are meaningful and not numeric
View Details: Dynamic Pages
If you use scripts or applets, then make sure a NOSCRIPT alternative
View Details: Scripts