Web Page Accessibility Checklist(1)

This Checklist should help you evaluate the extent to which Web pages are accessible to most people with disabilities.

This Checklist is based on the September 18, 1998 Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines(2) of the World Wide Web Consortium's ("W3C") Web Accessibility Initiative ("WAI"). W3C/WAI guidelines are the result of a compilation and technical upgrading of a number of different Web accessibility guidelines from around the world. They are developed by a consensus process through a W3C working Group involving Web industry, disability organizations, research organizations, and governmental organizations.

More information about the WAI and its products is available at: http://www.w3.org/WAI.

The status of this Checklist's source material as a W3C Working Draft indicates that it is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or made obsolete by other documents at any time. The status as a W3C Working Draft means that one should not imply endorsement by, or the consensus of, either W3C or members of the WAI Working Group. Likewise, the Department of Justice's Web Page Accessibility Checklist has not been adopted, endorsed by, or in any way approved by the WAI, W3C, or any component.

The W3C Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines can be found at:


Users are strongly encouraged to go to that site for guidance on the appropriate use of and context for the information contained in this Checklist. The most updated version of the W3C Working Draft of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines can be found at:


Use of the W3C guidelines does not constitute an endorsement of the organization or its materials by the U.S. Department of Justice. The WAI's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines may differ from the legally-enforceable standards that the Access Board will promulgate by February 7, 2000. The Department of Justice is providing this information only as interim guidance while the Access Board develops the binding standards.

Person filing out this Checklist:
Fax number:
E-mail address:

Web page under review:
URL/URI/other identifier:

Indicate the most appropriate description for the web page:
(a) online form for services or benefits
(b) other online form
(c) instructions for receipt of services or benefits
(d) description of activities
(e) employment postings
(f) inherently graphical content (e.g., map or photograph)
(g) other (describe):

Estimate the average number of times the page is accessed on a weekly basis: [blank]

Question Y N N/A

1. For all images, is alternative text provided?

Note. This includes images used as spacers, bullets in lists, and links

2. For all applets, are alternative text and content provided?      
3. For all image map links, is alternative text provided?      
4. If server-side image maps were used, are text links provided for each hotspot in the image map?      
5. For all graphical buttons, is alternative text provided?      

6. Is there an absence of ASCII art, and, instead, are images and alternative text used?

E.g., use "smile" or an image with alt text instead of: :)

7. If OBJECT was used to incorporate an image, applet, or script into a page, is the information also conveyed in an alternative means in cases where the OBJECT cannot be perceived, such as with "title" or within the body of the OBJECT element?      

8. Are long descriptions provided of all graphics that convey important information?

To do so: use "longdesc."

Until most browsers support "longdesc," also use a d-link (description link) or invisible d-link.

9. For stand-alone audio files, are textual transcripts of all words spoken or sung as well as all significant sounds provided?      
10. For audio associated with video, are captions -- textual transcripts of dialog and sounds -- synchronized with the video?      
11. Where sounds are played automatically, are visual notification and transcripts provided?      
12. For short animations such as animated "gifs" images, are alternative text and a long description provided, if needed?      
13. For movies, are auditory descriptions provided and synchronized with the original audio?      

14. If color is used to convey information, is the information also clear from the markup and/or text?

Hint: One way of testing this is to ask yourself whether the information is available if one is viewing it on a black and white screen.

15. Are foreground and background color combinations used that provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone with color blindness or when viewed on a black and white screen?      
16. For auto-refreshing or timed response pages, is a second copy of the page provided where refresh only happens after a link has been selected (until user agents provide this ability themselves)?      
17. Is the Web page free from any blinking or updating of the screen that causes flicker?      
18. Is a fallback page provided for pages that contain frames?      
19. For scripts that present critical information or functions, is an alternative, equivalent presentation or mechanism provided?      
20. For pages that use style sheets, are the contents of each page ordered and structured so that they read appropriately without the style sheet?      
21. If frames are used, are titles provided so that users can keep track of frames by name?      
22. Do you provide a "text only" alternative page to the original page?      
23. If you provide a "text only" alternative page, does it contain substantially the same information as the original page?      
24. If you provide a "text only" alternative page, is it updated as often as the original page?      

25. After you have evaluated this Web page using the Checklist, test it by running it with a text-only browser, such as Lynx, a public domain text browser that is available at http://lynx.browser.org. Describe the accessibility successes and problems you encountered during this exercise, including your plans for addressing any problems: [space provided for answer]

1. 1For persons with disabilities, additional copies of this document are available on computer disk and in alternate formats including large print, Braille, and audio cassette, by calling the U.S. Department of Justice at the following numbers:

Section 508 Coordinators:
1-202-305-8304 (voice)
1-202-353-8944 (TTY)

ADA Information Line:
1-800-514-0301 (voice)
1-800-514-0383 (TTY)

Alternate format copies for persons with disabilities may also be requested via e-mail to: sec508.questions@usdoj.gov

This document is available on the Section 508 Home Page of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/508

2. "The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines" were formerly known as the "Page Author Guidelines."

Updated August 6, 2015