The following checklist is based on the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, but is not a substitute for the WCAG specification. It was created to assist the UW community, including web designers, developers, content creators, and purchasing agents, in creating accessible content and procuring accessible applications. Our intent in creating it is to present accessibility information in a way that we feel is easier to understand.
It is organized loosely using the four main principles of WCAG. In order to be accessible, content must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust (POUR). Many of the items in this checklist apply to multiple technologies (e.g., websites, documents, videos, online courses, online meetings). Links in the following sections lead to pages that provide an overview of each issue. These overview pages also include links to techniques pages related to specific technologies.
For a checklist of items specifically related to digital documents (e.g., Word, PDF), see the Documents section of our website.
Make content and controls perceivable by all users.
- Do headings form an outline of the page content?
For details, see our Headings page.
- Are lists used to identify all content that can be described as a list of something?
For details, see our Lists page.
- Are common regions of the web page properly identified (e.g., as banner, main content, or navigation)?
For details, see Page regions.
- Does video have captions and audio description? Does audio have a transcript?
For details, see our Audio and video page.
- Do form fields within web pages and documents have appropriately coded labels and prompts, and do they provide helpful, accessible error and verification messages?
For details, see our Forms page.
- Do images have alternative text?
For details, see our Images page.
- Are tables used solely for presenting rows and columns of data (not for layout), and are the column and row headers identified?
For details, see our Tables page.
- Is the tab order and read order logical and intuitive?
For details, see our Tab and read order page.
- Have you avoided using visual characteristics to communicate information (e.g., “click the circle on the right” or “required fields are in red”)?
For details, see our Visual characteristics page.
- Does the interface have sufficient contrast between text color and background color?
For details, see our Color contrast page.
- Does the content scale well when text is enlarged?
For details, see our Enlarged text page.
- Are pop-ups such as menus, dialogs, and tooltips accessible?
For details, see our Popups page.
- Is content accessible on mobile devices?
For details, see our Mobile devices page.
Make content and controls operable by all users.
- Can all menus, links, buttons, and other controls be operated by keyboard, to make them accessible to users who are unable to use a mouse?
For details, see our Keyboard accessibility page.
- Are links and buttons used appropriately and labeled correctly?
For details, see our Links and buttons page.
- Does the web page or document have a title that describes its topic or purpose?
For details, see our Titles page.
- Are mechanisms in place that allow users to bypass blocks of content (e.g., a “skip to main content” link on a web page or bookmarks in a PDF)?
For details, see our Navigation page.
- Do features that scroll or update automatically (e.g., slideshows, carousels) have prominent accessible controls that enable users to pause or advance these features on their own?
For details, see our Auto-updating content page.
- Do pages that have time limits include mechanisms for adjusting those limits for users who need more time?
For details, see our Time limits page.
- Have you avoided using content that flashes or flickers?
For details, see our Flashing and flickering content page.
Make content and user interfaces understandable to all users.
- Has the language of the web page or document (or individual parts of a multilingual document) been defined?
For details, see our Language page.
- Have you avoided links, controls, or form fields that automatically trigger a change in context?
For details, see our Predictability page.
- Does the website have consistent navigation, including two or more ways of finding content?
For details, see our Finding content page.
Make content robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.