Web page content accessibility checklist

Overview

Work through the following questions before you publish a web page to be more confident it’s accessible.

Although this checklist won’t pick up every accessibility issue on a page, it does cover most of the items a writer or editor has control over.


Checklist

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, read the advice for that section.

  1. Are there any non-text media?
  2. Are there any headings?
  3. Could you know the destination of each link if read out of context?
  4. Are there any lists? Should there be?
  5. Has any text styling (eg block quotes) been improperly used?
  6. Is any of the text in bold or italics?
  7. Are there any abbreviations?
  8. Is information displayed in a table?
  9. Is information identified by its position, colour, sound etc?
  10. Are there any terms or sections not in everyday English?
  11. Are there links to third-party content?

1. Are there any non-text media?

Are there images?

It should have alt text that describes what you can see unless the image is just there for decoration.

See our information on images for more detail.

Do any images contain text?

An image with text should be avoided unless it’s a logo, or similar. In any case, convey as much of the text as possible in the alt text. You should reflect it in nearby text if there will be more than a couple of lines of alt text.

Are there any informative graphics (e.g. charts, infographics)

  • See the previous point about text.
  • Adjacent colours need to have a contrast ratio of 3:1. Test using this GOV.UK-inspired contrast checker.

See our information on complex images for more detail.

Is there audio-only informative media?

There needs to be a transcript provided with it. This could be on another page.

Is there silent informative video?

There should be an audio track and a transcription that describes the video-only content.

Is there video with audio?

  • There must be captions – either closed (you can turn them on and off) or open (‘burned’ into video) – that describe all important audio information, not just dialogue.
  • There should be an audio track and a transcription that describes the video-only content.

Does any audio play automatically?

If it’s longer than three seconds there needs to be a mechanism to turn it off or turn the volume down.

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2. Are there any headings?

  • Heading numbers indicate subsections (eg Heading 3 is a subsection of the Heading 2 before it). Don’t skip ‘up’ heading levels (eg Heading 2 to Heading 4).
  • Set every heading using the heading styles in the editor. Don’t use ‘bold’ to show something is a heading.
  • A heading should clearly identify its section of content.

See our information on headings for more detail.

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3. Could you know the destination of each link if read out of context?

  • Ensure link text (the highlighted words that become a link) is descriptive enough you could know where the link leads without the surrounding content.
  • A good rule of thumb is to reflect the title of the destination page in the link text.
  • Indicate whether it’s a file link. Use (PDF), (Word doc) etc.

See our information on links for more detail.

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4. Are there any lists? Should there be?

  • If there’s a list it must be set using the bulleted list or numbered list buttons in the page editor. They shouldn’t be copied in from elsewhere.
  • If you’re listing things in a paragraph, would it be easier to understand in a bulleted or numbered list?

See our information on lists for more detail.

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5. Has any text styling (eg blockquotes) been improperly used?

Blockquotes

Make sure a blockquote is used to quote something on the same page, or from another source with a citation.

See our information on blockquotes for more detail.

Mathematical content

The Digital Practice Leeds site has guidance on making mathematical content accessible.

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6. Is any of the text in bold or italics?

  • Remove the italics.
  • Avoid bold on more than a few words at a time.

See our information on styling text for more detail.

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7. Are there any abbreviations?

Make sure the long form is included with the abbreviation in the first instance. Define the abbreviation again later on the page if you think it will be useful.

See our information on abbreviations and acronyms for more detail.

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8. Is information displayed in a table?

  • Avoid using a table unless it’s the only way to display the information.
  • Keep tables simple and small. If you can’t, consider providing the information in an accessible Excel file.
  • Make sure there’s a ‘header row’ set. Don’t use merged cells.
  • Use a table to convey information, not for graphical/layout purposes.

See our information on tables for more detail.

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9. Is information identified by its position, colour, sound etc?

  • Avoid purely visual references. Change ‘above’ and ‘below’ to ‘previously’ and ‘following’ respectively.
  • Adjust ‘left’ and ‘right’ to something not exclusively visual (eg ‘data in the Results column’ not ‘right-hand column’).
  • Don’t identify something by colour alone (eg use ‘green submit button’ not ‘green button’).

See our information on colour contrast for more detail.

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10. Are there any terms or sections not in everyday English?

These should be identified. Some versions of Jadu have a button in the editor that help you identify the language of highlighted text.

See our information on foreign language for more detail.

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11. Are there links to third-party content?

You don’t need to recreate all inaccessible third-party web pages, but you do need to ensure people can access essential information and learning materials.

If a website is not owned, funded or supported by the university then its content is not legally required to be made accessible by us.

However, we are required to provide learning opportunities that are accessible to all students. If essential third-party content is not fully accessible then it should be supplemented with one or more other resources, so that in combination they meet the needs of all students.

For example, if an external website (which includes essential learning materials) has content that relies on colour alone to convey meaning, then it could be supplemented with a separate explanation that covers what the use of colour communicates.

Similarly, if you’re linking to third-party content that is essential, such as to complete a compulsory step in a process, you should provide an alternative accessible route to achieving the same thing.

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Do you need to make something accessible even if you think disabled people won’t use it?

Yes, even if you’re not aware of any disabled students or staff using your content you still need to make materials accessible. Following accessibility guidelines improves the usability of websites, documents and systems for everyone. Making content accessible means students and staff will benefit from being able to engage with the information in more flexible ways.

If you’re unable to provide an alternative version it is important to make this clear wherever the content is presented/linked to or in your module accessibility statement so that students or staff can seek appropriate advice or support if they need it.