Document Accessibility Checklist

You can use this checklist to help make your documents accessible.  Click on the links at the bottom of each section for additional information, hints, tips and tutorials:


  • 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 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.

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 without using a PDF editor like Acrobat Pro DC.

Learn more about Accessible Images

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 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 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 be 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 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 Layout and Formatting

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 Checkers have been run and all issues, errors and warnings have addressed.

Learn more about using accessiblity checkers

Download the Checklist

Document Accessibility Checklist

Accessibility ResourcesDocument Accessibility Checklist