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Web Accessibility Checklist

Achieving accessibility in your digital presence not only relies heavily on design, but also content. CAES web content managers should use this checklist during content creation to stay proactive about digital accessibility.

Page Titles and Headings

  • When creating new pages, use page titles that accurately reflect the topic on the page for better SEO results and improved visitor experience.
  • To allow assistive technologies to correctly read web pages, use proper headings and subheadings to organize your information.

Text and Readability

  • Use short concise sentences. If you need to use long sentences, try to limit it to one per paragraph.
  • Use headings to split up content. Headings provide structure and meaning to your content and give readers an easy way to scan.
  • Use shorter words when possible.
  • Note: These guidelines help improve your content quality (and your website’s QA Score in Siteimprove).

Links

  • Ensure that link text makes sense when read out of context.
  • Avoid links like “read more” or “click here.” Be specific about where links will lead.
  • Keep link text to 100 characters or less.
  • Avoid using the page URL as linking text.
  • It is essential for you to indicate when a link activates a download – and make sure this information is in the link text.
  • Always alert the user when opening new windows. The best way to indicate that a link opens in a new window is to add text to the link, such as “(opens in new window)”.

Images

  • Use alternative (alt) text on images to accurately reflect the purpose of the image and/or provide an accurate description.
  • If the image is linked, the alt text should describe the image and tell the user what activating the link will do.
  • Don’t use images to convey text (aside from logos). Be sure image alt text communicates the same information as the text in the image.
  • When using graphs or diagrams, include accompanying text to explain the meaning.

Image Sliders

  • When working with image sliders, provide alt text with each slide. If there is not an “alt” field for the slide, then the field may be labelled “title” or “caption” instead.
  • If the image slide is linked, you can phrase the alt text, title, or caption to be a call to action instead of a description (ex: “Learn More About Our Programs”).

Video and Audio

Tables

PDFs

  • When creating a PDF, avoid overlaying text over backgrounds that make it difficult to read. Examples of poor readability can include text over a photo, or text over a background with low contrast. You can check the contrast ratio of two colors using WebAIM’s Contrast Checker.
  • An accessible PDF should have “tags” – invisible, structured data that conveys the PDF’s information to a screen reader.
    • Fortunately, PDFs that are created from Microsoft Word will automatically include tags, and will just need to be checked, and possibly adjusted, using Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • WebAIM explains how to set up an accessible PDF with tags in the guides below: