Accessability Checklist

Questions to ask yourself while developing - Common Website Accessibility Errors
Have you added meaningful alt text to all images?
Are all of your headers in correct reading order?
Have your videos been captioned?
Have you made sure media files do not play automatically when a user enters the site?
Is your link text descriptive?
Is the text capable of being re-sized by the end user?
Can all elements of your site be accessed without a mouse?
Is your site's language defined?
Has color contrast been optimized for users with low vision or color-blindness?
Have you tested with an automated tool?

Disablilites that affect web browsing

Visual 8.1M - 3.3%

Hearing 7.6M - 3.1%

Cognitive Mental 15.2M - 6.3%

Ambulatory 19.9M - 8.2%

Key Concepts
Disabilities Challenges Solutions
Visual Images, Photos, Graphics Provide text descriptions, in alt text and, if necessary, longer explanations (either on the same page or with a link to another page)
Hearing Video, Audio Provide captions and transcripts for multimedia content and provide transcripts for audio-only content
Cognitive Mental Memory, Problem-Solving, Attention Deficits Provide step-by-step instruction, 404 (page errors), simple presentation of design
Ambulatory Mouse Control, Voice-activated Software Provide pages that are error-tolerant (i.e. - Are you sure you want to delete this file?), All functions are available from a keyboard

Accessibility Facts

57m Americans are living with a disability!

2.17m surf the web on a regular basis!

1.5m find web browsing challenging!

9 out of 10 websites are NOT accessible!


The difference between HTML5 and ARIA is that ARIA is an add-on, but HTML5 is the actual semantic page code.

Use HTML5 elements to convey the document structure to screen readers and voice recognition software, to allow users to easily navigate to those areas of the page.

For more examples visit:

<header> role="banner" Can contain a heading (H1-H6), site logo, navigation
<nav> role="navigation" Can be used for various types of navigation such as site navigation, subnavigation, breadcrumbs, previous/next links
<footer> role="contentinfo" Describes the page or a section of the page - Page footer may contain author name, copyright info, privacy policy, etc
<aside> role="complementary" Information that is tangentially related to the main page content, but can be read separately
<article> No equivilent Independent item such as a blog post, article, etc.

Perceivable - Web content is made available to the senses - sight, hearing, and/or touch

Adaptable Content
Semantic markup is used to designate headings, lists, emphasized or special text
Tables are used for tabular data - Headings, where necessary, are used to associate data cells with headers - Data table captions and summaries are used where appropriate
Text labels are associated with form input elements - Related form elements are grouped with fieldset/legend
The reading and navigation order (determined by code order) is logical and intuitive
Instructions do not rely upon shape, size, or visual location (e.g., "Click the square icon to continue" or "Instructions are in the right-hand column")
Distinguishable Content
Color is not used as the sole method of conveying content or distinguishing visual elements
Color alone is not used to distinguish links from surrounding text unless the luminance contrast between the link and the surrounding text is at least 3:1 and an additional differentiation (e.g., it becomes underlined) is provided when the link is hovered over or receives focus
A mechanism is provided to stop, pause, mute, or adjust volume for audio that automatically plays on a page for more than 3 seconds
Text and images of text have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1
Large text (over 18 point or 14 point bold) has a contrast ratio of at least 3:1
The page is readable and functional when the text size is doubled
If the same visual presentation can be made using text alone, an image is not used to present that text
Audio of speech has no or very low background noise so the speech is easily distinguished
Text is used within an image only for decoration (image does not convey content) OR when the information cannot be presented with text alone

Operable - Interface forms, controls, and navigation are operable

Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard
All page functionality is available using the keyboard, unless the functionality cannot be accomplished in any known way using a keyboard (e.g., free hand drawing)
Page-specified shortcut keys and accesskeys (accesskey should typically be avoided) do not conflict with existing browser and screen reader shortcuts
Keyboard focus is never locked or trapped at one particular page element - The user can navigate to and from all navigable page elements
All page functionality is available using the keyboard
Enough Time: Provide users enough time to read and use content
If a page or application has a time limit, the user is given options to turn off, adjust, or extend that time limit
Automatically moving, blinking, or scrolling content that lasts longer than 5 seconds can be paused, stopped, or hidden by the user - Moving, blinking, or scrolling can be used to draw attention to or highlight content as long as it lasts less than 5 seconds
The content and functionality has no time limits or constraints
Interruptions (alerts, page updates, etc.) can be postponed or suppressed by the user
If an authentication session expires, the user can re-authenticate and continue the activity without losing any data from the current page
Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are
A link is provided to skip navigation and other page elements that are repeated across web pages
If a page has a proper heading structure, this may be considered a sufficient technique instead of a "Skip to main content" link. Note that navigating by headings is not yet supported in all browsers
If a page uses frames and the frames are appropriately titled, this is a sufficient technique for bypassing individual frames
The web page has a descriptive and informative page title
The navigation order of links, form elements, etc. is logical and intuitive
The purpose of each link (or form image button or image map hotspot) can be determined from the link text alone, or from the link text and its context (e.g., surrounding paragraph, list item, table cell, or table headers)
Links (or form image buttons) with the same text that go to different locations are readily distinguishable
Multiple ways are available to find other web pages on the site - at least two of: a list of related pages, table of contents, site map, site search, or list of all available web pages
It is visually apparent which page element has the current keyboard focus (i.e., as you tab through the page, you can see where you are)
If a web page is part of a sequence of pages or within a complex site structure, an indication of the current page location is provided, for example, through breadcrumbs or specifying the current step in a sequence

Understandable - Content and interface are understandable

Readable: Make text content readable and understandable
The language of the page is identified using the HTML lang attribute
When appropriate, the language of sections of content that are a different language are identified
Words that may be ambiguous, unknown, or used in a very specific way are defined through adjacent text, a definition list, a glossary, or other suitable method
Expansions for abbreviations are provided by expanding or explaining the definition the first time
A more understandable alternative is provided for content that is more advanced than can be reasonably read by a person with roughly 9 years of primary education
If the pronunciation of a word is vital to understanding that word, its pronunciation is provided immediately following the word or via a link or glossary
Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes
If an input error is detected (via client-side or server-side validation), provide suggestions for fixing the input in a timely and accessible manner
If the user can change or delete legal, financial, or test data, the changes/deletions are reversible, verified, or confirmed
Provide instructions and cues in context to help in form completion and submission
If the user can submit information, the submission is reversible, verified, or confirmed

Robust Content - Content can be used reliably by a wide variety of user agents

Readable: Make text content readable and understandable
Significant HTML/XHTML validation/parsing errors are avoided
Markup is used in a way that facilitates accessibility - This includes following the HTML/XHTML specifications and using forms, form labels, frame titles, etc. appropriately

Extra Resources