Press "Enter" to skip to content

Digital Access Basics Resources: Check. Test. Eval.

NOTE: This page provides an overview of digital access and basic resources to check, test, and evaluate access. This information will be periodically updated as new information becomes available.

“Basics” of Digital Access – Why? Getting Started

In every post and online interaction, think, learn, and share about digital access and inclusion. Every day during the year include access from the start and spread awareness.

Accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. But, various barriers often prevent equal access and limit equal opportunity for people with disabilities in digital content and online interactions. 

Everyone can help and has a part in promoting and providing equitable digital access to all. Accessibility is not all “techie” or only for the designer or developer. Various resources and tools are available that “break down” best practices and can guide you in simple quick checks for digital access.

Accessibility should be included from the start and built-in throughout the process of design, development, and management to promote digital inclusion for the more than one billion people with disabilities worldwide. Ensure the purchase and provision of third-party digital products, technology, and services are also accessible.

Keep in mind that digital access is not a one-time checkbox, given the diversity of technology and users together with the continual, often critical, changing nature of digital content. It is vital to have accessibility contacts and policies in place.

  • Set goals, plan, and check access from start to finish plus re-checks.
  • Have access policies, including for purchasing.
  • Provide accessibility statement.
    • Link called “Accessibility” readily and consistently available (for example: in footer of website).
    • Page identifies your access commitment and contact if issues.

Be aware of your legal responsibilities for digital access under various U.S. Federal and state laws that may be applicable. Keep in mind that the ADA is a civil rights law that covers “effective communication,” “equal opportunity,” and “non-discrimination” for individuals with disabilities.

ADA Title II and Digital Access

Section 504, Health Care and Digital Access

Section 1557, Health Care and Digital Access

More Federal Guidance on Digital Access

WCAG: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) 
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

WCAG Checklists

WebAIM WCAG 2 Checklist
Web:  webaim.org/standards/wcag/checklist

Deque University Web Accessibility Checklist
Web: dequeuniversity.com/checklists/web/

A11y Project WCAG Checklist
Web: a11yproject.com/checklist/

ADA National Network: Resources on Digital Access

Publications

Podcasts

Videos

Webinar Archives

Web Courses

WCAG: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) 
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

WCAG Checklists

WebAIM WCAG 2 Checklist
Web:  webaim.org/standards/wcag/checklist

Deque University Web Accessibility Checklist
Web: dequeuniversity.com/checklists/web/

A11y Project WCAG Checklist
Web: a11yproject.com/checklist/

Quick Checkpoints to Digital Access

Get started! Everyone can and has a role in access.

  1. Identification
    • Provide clear description in properties for title (or subject), author, language.
  2. Writing
    • Font:  Sans serif (i.e. Arial, Helvetica, Verdana).
    • Acronyms and Abbreviations: spell out first use.
    • Phone Numbers: avoid periods.
    • Keep short, standard and inclusive (for example: Plain Language, Easy Read).
    • Check spelling and readability (built-in, free tools).
  3. Structure
    • Use headings, lists, and other structural elements.
  4. Color
    • Check contrast between background and colors of text, links, and other content elements.
    • Avoid use of color only for information.
  5. Images
    • Text description (alt-text) for images and non-text content.
  6. Links
    • Clearly identify the what and where in the link text.
    • The link makes sense if read by itself (avoid ”click here”).
  7. Media
    • Captions for videos and transcripts for audio.
    • Social media: Camel case for hashtags (i.e. #BeAccessible)
  8. Navigate
    • Keyboard navigable: unplug your mouse and use tab key.
    • Magnification to 200% and reflow of content on mobile.

Testing and Eval Web Access

 Easy Checks – A First Review of Web Accessibility
Source: W3C WAI
Web: w3.org/WAI/test-evaluate/preliminary/

Quick Reference: Web Accessibility Principles
Source: WebAIM
Web:
 webaim.org/resources/quickref/

Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools Overview
Source: W3C WAI
Web: w3.org/WAI/test-evaluate/tools/

IT Accessibility Checklists
Source: Access South Carolina IT
Web: accessibility.sc.gov/online-resources

Section 508 Checklist from WebAIM
Source: Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM).
Web webaim.org/standards/508/checklist

Checklists for Section 508 from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Web: hhs.gov/web/section-508/accessibility-checklists/index.html

Manual Testing for Web Accessibility
Source: Harvard University
Web: accessibility.huit.harvard.edu/manual-testing-accessibility

Screen Reader Technology Access

Check out the accessibility  with a screen reader.

NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access)

Try this free and open source screen reader for the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Spanish/ En Español

Términos Comunes en Accesibilidad Web

  • accesibilidad web –
    en inglés: web accessibility
  • El World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) El W3C
    en inglés: The World Wide Web Consortium, The W3C
  • La Iniciativa de Accesibilidad Web (WAI) del World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
    en inglés: The Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium
  • Las Pautas de Accesibilidad al Contenido Web (WCAG)
    en inglés: The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • Las Pautas de Accesibilidad al Contenido en la Web (WCAG)
    en inglés: The Guidelines for Accessibility to Web Content
  • Los Estándares del W3C
    en inglés: The W3C Standards
en_USEnglish