Digital Accessibility Checklist

The following checklist provides basic accessibility guidelines to consider when creating or using digital content.

General for online courses (or courses using an LMS like Blackboard Learn)

  • Use clear and consistent navigation
  • Label folders and modules clearly (such as Week 1: Forest Biomes, NOT Week 1)
  • Use meaningful hyperlinks (Visit Kent State vs www.kent.edu/visit)
  • Provide content in multiple ways (text, audio, video, images)
  • Provide multiple types of assignments and assessment types (if possible)
  • Define and spell out abbreviations, acronyms or jargon
  • Provide flexible communication and collaboration options (email, discussions, video conferences, etc.)

Documents (Word, PDF, etc.)

  • Should be full-text, machine readable and formatted with appropriate styles (headings, H1, H2, H3, etc.)
  • PDF documents that are scanned (and are not OCR’d or full text) should not be used.
  • All images should have alt text
  • Use meaningful hyperlinks (Visit Kent State vs www.kent.edu/visit)
  • Avoid the use of color as the sole means of emphasis; consider using italics or bold
  • Use good color contrast (for example, white text on a dark blue background)
  • Avoid using text boxes – they can cause issues when being parsed by a screen reader. Use borders around text to highlight important information
  • ALWAYS use the column tool to make columns, but…avoid using excessive columns
  • Do not use font sizes smaller than 11 point
  • Do not format using blank spaces, always use tabs or use page breaks
  • Always use the bullet/numbering tool in the toolbar to make ordered lists, rather than manually typing
  • If you are listing more than 3 items, I recommend numbering them rather than bullets as they are easier to follow when a screen reader is being used
  • Tables should have row headers and clear descriptions

Multimedia (audio, video)

  • Videos should be properly closed-captioned (YouTube auto-captions are a bad source for videos, but all the videos in NBC Learn are professionally closed-captioned)
  • Audio files should have a complete and verbatim transcript posted along with the file

External content (websites or other web-based content)

  • Avoid external websites that have content that is not closed-captioned, not transcribed, not full text, or otherwise inaccessible
  • Avoid the use of complex “lab” experiences that require special plugins like Flash or JavaScript
  • Avoid websites that are not professionally or commercially developed (personal sites, hobby sites, etc.)