Checking for Accessibility


Microsoft Office products have built-in accessibility checkers, which are often located under the Review tab. If you cannot locate the accessibility checker simply type accessibility into the search or help function.


Grackle Docs is a Google add-on that checks your Google document for accessibility.


Adobe Acrobat Pro DC has a built-in accessibility checker. The accessibility checker can be found under the Tools panel on the right hand side.

  • Click the Tools tab near the top left of Acrobat Pro DC.
  • Click on Accessibility within the Protect & Standardize section.
  • Select the Full Check button.
  • The Accessibility Full Check window opens.
    • On the Report and Comment Options section select Create Accessibility Report and Include Repair Hints in Accessibility Reports.
    • On the Checking Options section select all items to be checked.
  • Click on the Start Checking button.
  • The Accessibility Report displays issues that need to be resolved, and provides links to directions on how to do so.

Accessibility Checklist


  • Content must be perceivable
  • Content must be operable
  • Content must be understandable
  • Content must be robust


Goal: To make the navigation and clarity of content perceivable by all users and the five senses.

  • Do images have alternative text or a decorative label?
  • Are there images of text that could be avoided?
  • Do videos have captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions?
  • Is the navigation and reading order logical?
  • Does the document avoid using shape, size, color, and location in instructions?
  • Does the document meet color contrast standards?
  • Does the content scale well for different view settings and devices?


Goal: To make content navigation operable by all users.

  • Can content be navigated by a keyboard, for users who are unable to use a mouse?
  • Does content avoid styles that flash or flicker?
  • Does the document have a clear and concise title that describes its topic or purpose?
  • Are headings and sub-headings used appropriately?
  • Do links have informative names that are unique?


Goal: To make content and technology understandable to all users.

  • Has the language of the document been identified?
  • Are interactive elements appropriately labeled and clearly explained?


Goal: To make content robust enough that screen reader technology can interpret it correctly.

  • Was the document scanned at high resolution?
  • Have accessibility guidelines been followed to ensure compliance?

Color Contrast

The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 define specific color contrast ratios that must be met in order comply at particular levels. In order to meet the guidelines at Level AA, text or images of text must have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 (or 3:1 for large text).

When designing the color scheme of a website, web page, or document, be sure to consider whether there is sufficient contrast between foreground text and background. Some users may have difficulty perceiving text if there is too little contrast between foreground and background.

Use the WebAIM Color Contrast Checker to select different colors and determine contrast ratios.