Accessibility Checklist – Start Here!

Text and Textbooks/Readings


  • Have you used color only as a secondary means to differentiate (opting for texture, shape, etc)?
  • Do your color choices meet contrast standards?
  • Have you provided “alternative text” for all images or graphics that convey necessary information to the learner in 125 characters or less?
  • Are you creating complex tables in Excel, versus Word or PowerPoint?
  • Are you avoiding Word’s SmartArt, flow charts, and WordArt?


  • Is all slide content contained in pre-existing fields provided by template slide layouts (i.e., no text boxes, etc)?
  • Have you defined the reading order for slide content?
  • Have you ensured that there is no flashing content in your presentation?
  • Are you making presentations available to download through your Canvas course, and providing rich-text alternatives?
  • Have you chosen not to use an external PowerPoint service like SlideShare, Prezi or Nearpod?
  • Have you ensured that any text information that appears in a slide master also appears in the presentation itself?




  • Are all hyperlinks descriptive links (not simply a URL or a “click here”)?
  • Do your hyperlinks open in the same window?


  • Are your directions clear and concise?
  • Have you provided an answer method that is not Scantron sheets?
  • Are your questions crowded, or is there appropriate white space?
  • Did you print one-sided?
  • Are your maps, graphs, and other images clear and legible (with appropriate alternative text if your test is online)?
  • Are the entire question and answer choices listed on the same page?
  • Are answer choices listed in one line in a vertical list?
  • Have you set up extended time in Canvas if necessary?

Further Reading

For more information and more in-depth guides, start with our Accessibility Basics or find details on specific tools/topics on our Accessibility page, Microsoft’s article on Word and screen readers, or WebAIM’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines checklist (WCAG 2.0). For more information on the types of learners who might need accessible design, check out the wonderful “An Alphabet of Accessibility Issues.” You can also access Canvas’ accessibility group discussion here.