Document Accessibility Checklist
This checklist has been designed as a quick and easy resource. Explore the links for additional information, hints, tips and tutorials.
You can also print out a copy of the checklist to use as a “cheatsheet” when creating your documents.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 are not and cannot be made accessible.
- Color is not used as the only means of representation.
- There is sufficient contrast between the background and text.
- Colors should be limited to 2-3 complementary colors.
- Cultural connotations and common usages of colors have been considered.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
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.
- Slides have been created using an accessible template.
- Slides have descriptive titles.
- Slide titles are unique.
- A minimum of 24pt font sized is used and there is plenty of white space on all slides.
- Reading Order has been checked and adjusted for each slide.
- Accessibility Checker have been run and all issues, errors and warnings have addressed.