Page Author Check List - Version 8
Unified Web Site Accessibility Guidelines

Rating System

[Required] - Required for some groups of users to access the information on a page.
[Recommended] - Makes page easier to understand and use.

Style Sheets        (Style Sheet details in the Author Guidelines)

  1. Positioning and formatting are done with style sheets, not within the text (e.g. <B> or the "align" attribute of <IMG>) (However, continue to use logical elements such as STRONG, H1, etc.  to provide semantic coding within the body of the page) [Required]  
  2. Pages are readable and usable without style sheets (e.g. when the browser does not support or the user prefers not to load). [Required]  

Images and Image maps     (Image and Image map details in the Author Guidelines) 

  1. All images and image maps have alternative text. [Required]
  2. Graphics that present important information (especially charts, tables, and diagrams) have a longer description of the graphic that is available (i.e., via D-link or "longdesc," etc.) (Include internal text in image file formats that support it). [Required]
  3. Image maps are client-side image maps AND each link within it has a description.
    -- OR --
    A list of the (server-side) image map choices (links) are provided as text links (i.e. on the same page, on an alternative page that is accessible, or within the body of the <OBJECT> element). [Required]
  4. All images used as links have descriptive titles. [Recommended]

Applets and Scripts      (Applet and Script details in the Author Guidelines) 

  1. All scripts have a <NOSCRIPT> option. [Required]
  2. The user can freeze any moving or blinking text. [Required]
  3. All applets have alternative text. [Required]
  4. Descriptions are provided for applets that convey important information. [Required]
  5. Applets that gather information have alternative mechanisms to gather the information (e.g. an HTML form). [Required]
  6. Applets that require a user interaction (e.g. the ability to manipulate a physics experiment) that can not be duplicated in an alternative format, are directly accessible. [Required]
  7. Alternative, accessible presentations of information are provided for applets embedded with the <OBJECT> element. [Recommended]
  8. Scripts and applets are keyboard operable (using standard conventions). [Recommended]

Audio and Video       (Audio & Video details in the Author Guidelines) 

  1. All information presented auditorally is available in a text transcript file. [Required]
  2. All video information is described and available in an auditory form. [Required]
  3. Video descriptions are also available in a separate text transcript file. [Required]
  4. Transcript and video description information is synchronized with audio/video information, either directly or via a synchronization file. [Required]

Text        (Text details in the Author Guidelines) 

  1. Logical styles are used (correctly) rather than physical markups. [Recommended]
  2. The <BLINK> and <MARQUEE> elements have not been used. [Recommended]
  3. Headings are nested properly. Style sheets are used for formatting. [Recommended]

Lists and Outlining          (Lists & Outlining details in the Author Guidelines) 

  1. List structure and list items are correctly encoded with proper HTML elements (UL, OL, LI). Use style sheets to adjust item spacing. [Recommended]

Tables          (Table details in the Author Guidelines)

  1. Table cells are explicitly associated with row and column labels.  [Required]
  2. Tables or <PRE> elements are not used to arrange text documents in columns or otherwise layout a page. [Required]
  3. Lengthy row and column labels are abbreviated.  [Recommended]  
  4. Table summaries are available. [Recommended]  
  5. For more complex tables, information is grouped into categories.  [Recommended]  
  6. Alt-text does not wrap in tables used to position graphics. [Recommended]   [how to verify??]
  7. Tables of text and numbers are available in a linear fashion on an alternative page.   [TBD] 
  8. A phone or fax number or e-mail address is provided if tables can not be made accessible. [Recommended]

Links             (Link details in the Author Guidelines)

  1. Link phrases make sense when read out of context (but they are not too verbose). [Recommended]
  2. Lists of links have non-link,  printable characters (surrounded by spaces)  between them. [Recommended]

Frames             (Frame details in  the  Author Guidelines)

  1. Each <FRAMESET> has a <NOFRAME> option. [Required]
  2. All frames are titled. [Recommended]
  3. Links to descriptions of the purpose and layout of frames are provided   [Recommended]

User-Input Forms                (Form details in the  Author Guidelines)

  1. Image maps are not used to create graphical "submit" buttons. Required
  2. Labels are explicitly associated with their control. Required
  3. Images used as "submit" buttons have alternative text. Required
  4. A logical tab order is specified with "tabindex." [Recommended]
  5. Related controls are grouped with the <FIELDSET> element. [Recommended]
  6. Groups of controls are labeled using the <LEGEND> element. [Recommended]
  7. Long lists of selections are grouped into hierarchies.  [Recommended]
  8. Edit boxes and text areas have default, place holding characters. [Recommended]
  9. A phone number, e-mail address, postal mail address or fax number is provided for submitting information. [Recommended]
  10. Form elements have keyboard shortcuts. [Recommended]

Tips and tricks to further enhance the usability of pages    (Details)

  1. If after best efforts, any page is still not accessible, provide a link to an alternative page which is accessible, has equivalent information, and is maintained with the same frequency as the inaccessible page.
  2. Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc. to decrease the amount of sifting readers perform to find important information.
  3. Use the "title" attribute on horizontal rules <hr title="new section">, acronyms and abbreviations <abbr>title="World wide web">WWW</abbr>, and very short sounds <a href="mittens.wav" title="meow"></a>
  4. Replace ASCII art with an image and alternative text.
  5. Provide keyboard shortcuts for links.
  6. Create a single downloadable file for documents that exist as a series of separate pages.

Good Web Site Design Practices

  1. Page layout is consistent but pages or areas do not look identical.
  2. A clear, consistent navigation structure is used. 
  3. Navigation bars provide easy access to the navigation structure.
  4. Instructions are provided to describe the general layout of the site, the access features used, and how to use them.
  5. A site map is available.
  6. Different types of searches are available for different skill levels and preferences.
  7. Nothing within the site prevents keyboard operation.
  8. Elements outside of the HTML 4.0 specification (such as <BLINK> and <MARQUEE>) are not used
  9. Use a design tool that supports access features (and does not remove access when you close, or reopen your page using the tool)
  10. Test the site with AT LEAST:
    • a text only browser (such as Lynx)
    • a self-voicing browser (such as PWWebspeak)
    • Multiple graphic browsers, with:
      • sounds and graphics loaded,
      • graphics not loaded,
      • sounds not loaded,
      • no mouse