1. Keyboard Navigation
  2. Non-Visual Navigation with a screen reader
  3. Alternate Visual Access
  4. Usability
  5. Non-Audio Access
  6. STEM Content
  7. Downloadable Files

Testing Tools Needed

o VoiceOver (Mac),
o Narrator (Windows)

o NVDA (Windows)

• Color contrast analyzer

Using the Checklist

Automated testing such as using the WAVE Tool only captures about 30-50% of accessibility issues. Use this checklist to follow up with manual testing.

  • Each section includes instructions on how to use applicable testing tools.
  • The desirable answer for each yes/no question is “Yes.”
  • Any question answered with “No” is an accessibility issue that needs to be addressed.
  • It is helpful to provide details or screenshots of issues found.

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The first step to manual testing is to throw away your mouse. See if you can navigate the page, including all menus and interactive elements, using only the keyboard.


1. Use the TAB, ENTER, SPACE, and UP and DOWN ARROW keys to navigate.

  • You can always see the keyboard focus when tabbing through the page. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Keyboard focus does not unexpectedly shift to other elements. ☐ Yes ☐ No TAB ORDER
    1. TAB through the page to see if the order is logical.
    2. See if you can activate all interactive elements with the ENTER or SPACE keys.
  • Tab order is logical. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • All elements on the page can be reached by keyboard. This includes links, dropdown menu items, buttons, andother interactive elements. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • If dropdown menus exist, the keyboard can be used to select and open items in them. ☐ Yes ☐ No ☐ N/A


  • ☐ N/A (There are no forms.)
  • Tab order of form fields is logical. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • In dropdown menus, you can navigate and select items using the keyboard alone. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Data entered is retained if the page is refreshed or too much time is taken to fill out form fields. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • If a required field is left blank, keyboard focus shifts to that field when user is notified. ☐ Yes ☐ No


  • ☐ N/A (There are no dialog boxes.)
  • Dialog boxes or pop-up menus receive keyboard focus. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Dialog messages can be dismissed using the keyboard. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Focus returns to a logical location when dialog boxes are closed. ☐ Yes ☐ No


Includes features such as videos, audio files, calendars, Flash content, and photo carousels.

  • ☐ N/A (There are no multimedia.)
  • Manual controls exist (e.g. start, pause, go back, go forward). ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Controls can be tabbed through. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Controls can be activated using the keyboard. ☐ Yes ☐ No



When testing with your screen reader, use the same keyboard navigation strategies that you used in the previous section (TAB, ENTER, SPACE, and ARROW KEYS). This time, listen to how the screen reader interprets the page as you navigate with the keyboard.

How to use a screen reader:


One of the ways a screen reader user navigates a page is by using the TAB key to skip through the links on the page, or by bringing up a list of links. Links should be descriptive so that a user can easily determine where they will go even when taken out of context.

  • Links are descriptive, without generic text such as “click here”. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Distinguishing information is placed at the beginning of links. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • The texts of links are intuitive when listed alphabetically. ☐ Yes ☐ No


Screen reader users also navigate content using headings. Headings allow them to jump to a specific section instead of having to listen to the entire page.

  • Headings are used logically to provide structure and indicate importance of the content. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Heading levels are not skipped. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Pages can be navigated using headings. ☐ Yes ☐ No


A skip navigation link is helpful for users who don’t want to work their way through all the links on the page before getting to the main content. This link does not have to be visible on the page, but it should be listed first in the tab order.

  • Skip navigation links are present. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Skip links work as intended using JAWS, skipping to the main content of the page. ☐ Yes ☐ No


Any non-text element needs a text description that screen reading software can read aloud to the listener. It should describe the purpose of the image in context.

  • ☐ N/A (There are no images.)
  • Purely decorative images have null alternate text (ALT=””). ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • All meaningful images have descriptive alternate text. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • All navigation buttons have descriptive alternate text. ☐ Yes ☐ No

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Includes features such as videos, audio files, calendars, Flash content, and photo carousels.

  • ☐ N/A (There are no multimedia.)
  • Multimedia controls have alternate text. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Video or audio do not start to play automatically, only when triggered by the user. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • You hear what you expect when selecting controls. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Using the controls is intuitive. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Videos have audio descriptions available for any information that is only conveyed visually. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • More video requirements in section



  • ☐ N/A (There are no forms.)
  • Form fields have descriptive labels. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Appropriate descriptive labels are present and read by screen reader when tabbing through form fields. ☐Yes☐No
  • You can fill out the forms and submit them successfully with screen reader. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Buttons are labeled and read correctly by screen reader. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • If a required field is left blank, screen reader reads the error text and navigates dialog buttons. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • When an error dialog is dismissed, screen reader automatically returns to the empty field. ☐ Yes ☐ No


Layout tables are not recommended for accessibility. CSS should be used rather than tables to layout information.

  • ☐ N/A (There are no layout tables.)
  • Tables are not used purely for positioning content. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • If tables are used for layout, they do not have designated header rows. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • If tables are used for layout, the reading order of the cells makes sense when linearized. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • If tables are used for layout, they allow end user customization and text scaling. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Tables are not nested or filled with spanned or ‘spacer’ cells. ☐ Yes ☐ No


  • ☐ N/A (There are no data tables.)
  • Data tables have designated header and/or column rows. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Tables have captions (short text descriptions). ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Tables are not nested or filled with spanned or ‘spacer’ cells. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Row or column headers are associated with the appropriate Scope attribute. ☐ Yes ☐ No


• ☐ N/A (There are no frames.)
If Frames are found (not recommended for accessibility):

  • Each frame has a descriptive title attribute value. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • When you refresh a page, it stays on the current frame. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • While listening with screen reader, you can navigate between frames ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • While listening with screen reader, you can tell what the purpose of each frame is ☐ Yes ☐ No



If CAPTCHA is used, it must be fully accessible and simple to use.

  • ☐ N/A (There is no CAPTCHA.)
  • CAPTCHA is fully accessible by keyboard. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • CAPTCHA is fully accessible to screen reading software. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Audio CAPTCHA is fully accessible by screen readers, including a pause that allows the screen reader to finish before the audio begins. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Audio CAPTCHA has an alternative for users with hearing impairments. ☐ Yes ☐ No


Many users are colorblind or have low vision. Color choice matters for both groups of users. Contrast impacts those with low vision, while those who are colorblind cannot distinguish between certain colors.


  • Color is not used as the sole means of conveying information on the page. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • The WAVE test indicates sufficient contrast (Minimum AA) for text on solid color backgrounds. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • The Chrome WCAG 2.0 Color Contrast Analyzer indicates sufficient contrast for text on top of images or gradient backgrounds. ☐☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Hover state has sufficient contrast or underline ☐ Yes ☐ No


This is important for users with low vision who change zoom settings.

  • Text is actual text (e.g. not images of text). ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Font sizes increase when you zoom in on the page. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Text does not become pixelated when zooming in on the page. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Items do not become jumbled when zooming in on the page. ☐ Yes ☐ No


Many users have a non-apparent disability, such as a traumatic brain injury or a cognitive or learning disability, that affects their ability to process information. Clear organization of information is vital for these users.


  • Fonts are basic, legible, easy to read. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • The viewing area is not crowded or chaotic. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • There is plenty of white space. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • There is no flashing content, blinking or moving text. ☐ Yes ☐ No


  • Menus are consistent across the entire product. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Visual navigation is logical. ☐ Yes ☐ No



This includes audio files such as podcasts as well as videos.

  • ☐ N/A (There is no audio or video content.)
  • Users have control over whether or not to start playing the video or audio. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • All videos have captions. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Existing captions are accurate. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • Captions have sufficient contrast. ☐ Yes ☐ No
  • All audio files have a link to a transcript. ☐ Yes ☐ No


This includes math or other content that uses special symbols:

  • ☐ N/A (There is no content with math or other symbols.)
  • Screen reader recognizes and reads the symbols (Formatted using MathML, MathJax, LaTeX). ☐ Yes ☐ No


Documents that are linked for download from a site also need to be accessible.

  • ☐ N/A (There are no downloadable files.)
  • PDFs are searchable / OCR’d (you can highlight or search text in the document). ☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A
  • PDFs have tags and the reading order is logical. ☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A
  • PDFs have alt text for non-text elements. ☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A
  • Word documents have hierarchical headings. ☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A
  • Word documents have alt text on non-text elements. ☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A
  • PowerPoint slides have logical reading order. ☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A
  • PPT slides have alt text on non-text elements. ☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A
  • PPT slides have sufficient contrast.☐Yes ☐No ☐ N/A