Use the checklist below to look for potential accessibility issues with your document that cannot be detected automatically.
Format lists so assistive technology users can easily navigate to a list, know what type of list they are reading, and the level of an item within a list.
Format data cells so they are associated with the correct table header. In Word, screen readers cannot identify the column header of merged or split cells. Therefore, convert the document to an accessible format.
Set the correct language for passages of text. Screen readers pronounce words based on language setting and if passages of text are set to a different language than intended, screen readers will speak the passage with the incorrect pronunciation.
Include the document title and other information including author, subject, and keywords in the document properties. Screen readers speak the file name rather than title of the document if the title attribute is empty.
Make text readable and distinguishable from background colors, watermarks, and background images. Also, ensure the content is readable when viewed in High Contrast mode.
Make hyperlink text meaningful, descriptive, and unique. Screen reader users often call up a list of links in a document, and a long list of links called "click here" does not provide enough information for them to know the link's destination or purpose.
Logically structure documents using heading styles so assistive technology users can easily navigate the document.
Skipped heading levels give assistive technology users misleading document structure and make navigation more difficult.
Screen readers speak "blank" for carriage-return characters. Hearing the word "blank" multiple times in a row disrupts reading flow.
Objects that are not 'inline' with text—also called floating objects—are impossible to access with the keyboard, and therefore cannot be read by screen reader users.
Define table column headers so users of assistive technologies can associate data cells with the proper header.
Remove blank table rows or columns. Formatting the look of a table by using blank rows or columns make tables more difficult to understand and navigate by screen reader users.
Add alternative text to all non-decorative images and other objects in the document. Alternative text conveys information to readers who are unable to see.