case study

The Accessibility Checklist
I Vowed I’d Never Write

Update: The below checklist is now available in German.

I have said on numerous occasions that there is no simple checklist that, when followed, will give you an accessible site without fail. There are simply too many variables. But, what do you do when you want to create accessible pages and you have dozens or even hundreds of developers who (like most of their peers) have little to no experience with accessibility? What do you do when it just simply isn’t practical to have someone review all of your pages? In short, how do you insure that a very large organization creates pages that can be accessed by the largest audience possible without drastically increasing your budget? This is one of the questions we have been (and continue to) struggle with.

I believe that in order to solve this problem, we will need to take a multi-faceted approach. However, one element which seems inevitable is training for our designers and developers. I don’t think it’s reasonable (no matter how much I would like to try) to make our devs and designers into accessibility experts, so what can we do? If we can’t yet achieve excellent accessibility, what about simply doing better than we are doing now?

When I wrote the below checklist, I attempted to answer the question, “What concise pieces of advice can I give to designers that will have the greatest impact on accessibility in the majority of cases?”

Again, this list is not the perfect solution, nor is it the only solution, but I believe it is a good first step, and it gives our developers and designers a place to start from.

It is my hope that most of the below points should be easily understood, but on our internal WIKI, we will also be providing links from most checkpoints to supporting documentation that gives more details. For everyone else, I recommend WebAIM or failing that, Google.

A printable version is available here.

Accessibility Checklist


Visual Appearance and Content

Dynamic Content

Images and Multimedia



posted by Aaron Cannon on Friday, Jun 06, 2008
tagged with accessibility, html, checklist