Document Accessibility Checklist

You can use this checklist to help make your documents accessible.  Click on the links for additional information, hints, tips and tutorials. A printable copy of the checklist is available for download at the bottom of the page. 

Headings

  • Headings are created using the application’s built-in Heading/Styles tool (located in the toolbar).
  • Page titles use H1 and sections use H2 through H6.
  • Headings follow a logical nesting order and do not exceed six levels.

Learn more about accessible Headings

Images

  • Images have alternative text (alt-text).
  • Alt-text conveys the same information as the image itself, appropriate for the context – whatever meaning you want to convey with the image should be put in the alt-text.
  • Images can be enlarged to 200% without pixelating.
  • Images are added in-line and do not have wrapped text in Word and Google Docs.
  • Images do not flash more than three times per second.

Learn more about accessible Images

Image Specific

  • Images containing words (e.g., memes, comics, etc.): Use the image text as the alt-text.
  • Diagrams (e.g., flowcharts, graphs, etc.) – if they are the sole source of information: Provide alt-text that conveys the same information as the diagram.
  • Diagrams (flowcharts, graphs, etc.) – if they are a visual representation of information already explained in-text: Use “Diagram as described in text” for the alt-text.
  • Images of tables: Convert to tables. Adequate alt-text cannot be added.
  • Images that are purely decorative: type “decorative” to the alt-text field and check the “decorative” box (if available).

Math and Science Equations

  • Images of equations have been converted using an equation editor
  • Equations have been created using the Equation Editor in LMS or tools such as MathType, EquatIO, or MathML.
    • Simple equations can use the keyboard for = and +. Special characters/symbols must be used for everything else including −, ÷, and ×.
    • Note: Equations in PDF documents cannot be made accessible.

Color Use

  • Color is not used as the only means of representation.
  • There is sufficient contrast between the background and text.
  • Colors are be limited to 2-3 complementary colors.
  • Cultural connotations and common usages of colors have been considered.

Learn more about accessible Color Use

 Tables

  • Tables have column and/or row headers.
  • All tables are formatted as tables not images.
  • Tables are used for data only, never for layout.
  • Tables avoid using merged and/or blank cells.

Learn more about accessible Tables

Links

  • Links have descriptive titles that inform the user where the link goes (e.g. title of article, title of webpage, title of video).
  • Links do not use ambiguous titles such as “click here”, “learn more” or “more information”.
  • Links are visibly distinct and identifiable as a link.
  • Non-webpage links are identified as such (e.g. link to word document or pdf).
  • Shortened URLs are used when the user cannot click on the link (e.g. printed documents, in-person presentations).

Learn more about accessible Links

Lists

  • Lists are formatted using the list tool found in the application’s toolbar menu.
  • Lists are not the sole mode for formatting instructional content (i.e. lecture/content outlines – e.g accessible headings are used for major sections).
  • The correct list type is used:
    • Ordered (numbers or alphabetical) for information that is chronological or hierarchical.
    • Unordered (bulleted) for information with no ranking or order attached.

Learn more about accessible Lists

Formatting and Layout

  • PDF Documents have been OCRed (not scanned) and are selectable, searchable, properly tagged, and the reading order is accurate.
  • Underlined text is not used for emphasis as it can be mistaken for a link (use bold and italics instead).
  • Spelling and Grammar have been checked.
  • Documents are consistent in style and navigation.
  • Text is left justified – no full justification is used.
  • Common, easy to read fonts are used (no cursive or overcomplicated fonts).
  • A minimum of 11pt Calibri and 12pt Times New Roman equivalent font size is used.
  • Line spacing between lines is at least 1.15.

Learn more about accessible Formatting and Layout

PowerPoint/Slides Specific

  • Slides have been created using an accessible template.
  • Slides have descriptive titles.
  • Slide titles are unique.
  • Reading Order has been checked and adjusted for each slide.

Accessibility Checker

  • Accessibility Checker have been run and all issues, errors and warnings have addressed.

Learn more about Accessibility Checkers

Faculty Resource Center

Accessibility Resources Accessibility Checklist