Web Accessibility Checklist

A beginner's guide to web accessibility


ARIA Landmark Roles are helpful landmarks that can be used by AT to navigate a website.

Note: When you validate html using landmark roles, you'll receive a warning stating these roles are redundant. In HTML5, several of the landmark roles are implicit via the native structural element which is supported by most modern desktop browsers with the exception of IE and iOS Safari. So, if you support IE and iOS browsers, you'll want to use the landmark roles. For more information, read Quick Tip: Aria Landmark Roles and HTML5 Implicit Mapping.

Focal content of document. Use only once.

Represents an independent item of content. Use only once on outermost element of this type.

Supporting section related to the main content even when separated.

Contains information about the document (meta info, copyright, company info, etc).

Add a `search` role to your primary search (how to implement).

Language Attribute

Declaring a language attribute on the html element enables a screen reader to read out the text with correct pronunciation.

Specify a language with the lang attribute on the <html> element.

Document Outline

Use unobtrusive Javascript (never use inline scripting).

Provide alternatives for users who do not have Javascript enabled and for environments where Javascript is unavailable.


Tab order of the form follows a logical pattern.

(e.g. <label for="name">Name:</label><input id="name" type="text">)

An exception to this rule would be smaller forms with one or two fields (eg. search or log in forms)

Media (Audio and Video)

Providing text alternatives makes the audio information accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This also goes for search engines who are deaf and hard of hearing as well.

Color and Contrast

Best done early in the process, by ensuring that the foreground and background colors of your site have sufficient contrast you will help make your site more readable for everyone. Contrast Ratio is one tool for checking the contrast of your colors for both standard vision and color deficient user.

Test for different types of color blindness.

Test against different types of color blindness with a tool like http://colorfilter.wickline.org/. If you are on a Mac, another option is Michel Fortin's, Sim Daltonism color blindness simulator.


Navigating your site using a range of tools, such as just the keyboard or a screen reader, will help you understand how a blind, low-vision, or limited-mobility user will experience it.