Document and Web Accessibility Checklist

The checklist on this page will help ensure that documents and web pages you publish are equally accessible to persons with disabilities. The checklist items below apply to both documents (such as created in Microsoft Word) and web pages. This checklist is intended for content creators and editors within the University of Maine System.

Detailed Information

Text Elements

Multimedia Elements

  • Provide meaningful Alt Text (External Site) to quickly describe images for those who cannot see them.
  • Any information communicated in “watermarks” (low contrast background images underlying page text, e.g., “draft”) is also contained in the document itself, preferably near or at the beginning of the document.
  • For complex images (External Site) such as a chart (External Site)map (External Site) or other diagrams, in addition to ALT text, provided extended text descriptions.
  • Color should not be used as the sole means for communicating information. For example, charts should be designed to be understandable in black and white.
  • Avoid animations (External Site). If necessary, ensure the flicker rate is lower than 2 Hz (Hertz) or greater than 55 Hz – animations within these frequencies may trigger epileptic seizures.
  • Video and audio files should be accurately captioned/transcribed for those who cannot hear the content. Audio description should be provided for visual-only content.
  • Live-streamed events should have real-time captions provided by a real-time transcriptionist, e.g., CART.
  • When a web-page has an in-line clickable image of an attachment, such as a PDF file, there must also be regular text-based link to the attachment in proximity unless the clickable image is known to be accessible.


  • Avoid PDFs if possible. Use alternatives, such as Microsoft Word documents or web pages.
  • Do not use PDFs saved directly from Google applications – they are not accessible as of January 2020.
  • Use the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Accessibility Checker (External Site) on all PDFs and repair issues. Perform all manual PDF accessibility checks.
  • Select required Accessibility options when exporting PDFs from Microsoft Word,
  • PDF forms have inherent accessibility limitations. Instead, create a web-based form. If a PDF form is required, follow instructions for creating Accessible Forms in Acrobat (External Site).


Equally Effective Accessible Alternatives

  • If you have an inaccessible artifact, such as an older PDF document, you may publish it on a website, or distribute it, as long as you also provide an Equally Effective Accessible Alternative in the same place.


  • Digital Accessibility


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Article ID: 139139
Mon 4/10/23 2:24 PM
Mon 4/10/23 3:40 PM
Applies To