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18F Accessibility Checklist

Accessibility 18F GSA

This checklist helps developers identify potential accessibility issues affecting their websites or applications. It’s broken down into three sections of decreasing importance: A, B and C. Please check and address these issues in the order in which they appear.

For more detail on accessibility standards, please see WCAG2.0 AA

  • A – Critical issues that will cause serious problems and/or stop most users of assistive technology from using the site
  • B – Issues that may cause problems or increased frustration for certain users
  • C – Minor issues that will cause problems or frustration for a small number of users

It is important to note, while B and C are noted as less critical, they are still required to be truly 508 compliant. This checklist should be used as a reference for development and is not a substitute for compliance checks by a section 508 coordinator.

A – Critical>

A – Critical #

  1. Site is keyboard accessible
    • All interactions can be accessed with a keyboard
  2. Site is free of keyboard traps
    • The keyboard focus is never trapped in a loop
  3. All form inputs have explicit labels
  4. All relevant images use an img tag
  5. All images have alt attributes
  6. Multimedia is tagged
    • All multimedia has appropriate captioning and audio description
  7. Text has sufficient color contrast
    • All text has a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 with the background
B – Less Critical>

B – Less Critical #

  1. Site never loses focus
    • Focus is always visible when moving through the page with the keyboard
  2. Tab order is logical
  3. Form instructions are associated with inputs
  4. Site doesn’t timeout unexpectedly
    • Identify elements that may “timeout” and verify that the user can request more time
  5. Tables are coded properly
    • Tables have proper headers and column attributes
  6. Headings are nested properly
    • Heading elements are nested in a logical way
C – Minor>

C – Minor #

  1. Frames are named
    • All frames have a name element
  2. Flashing elements are compliant
    • Elements that flash on screen do so at a rate of less than 3 Hz
  3. Language is set
    • The language for the page is set
    • The language for sections on the page that differ from the site language are set
  4. CSS is not required to use the page
    • The page makes sense with or without CSS
  5. Links are unique and contextual
    • All links can be understood taken alone, e.g., ‘Read more – about 508’
  6. Page titles are descriptive
  7. Required plugins are linked on the page