WCAG checklist for the editor

Checklist for the editor

In this checklist, we have compiled best practice for working with web accessibility as an editor of a website. Use it in your daily work to secure a site that is accessible to everyone.

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  • Make sure that the content on your page is organised correctly and with the use of semantic structure, so the hierarchy can be read by both people, search engines and digital assistants.
  • Format your text correctly: use H1, H2, H3, bullets, numbering and other formatting to make your pages easy to see and scan.
  • Write short and simple sentences and divide your text into smaller sections.
  • Use headings and subheadings to create structure and meaning.
  • Check the readability score (Lix number) and make sure it is between 24–44. There are several online tools that you can use for this.
  • Give all pages a meaningful title and description so users can easily decode what the page is about.
  • Make sure all the URLs on the website have a meaningful title.
  • Avoid links with titles like ‘Read more’ or ‘See here’.
  • Instead, create descriptive link texts that explain to the user where the link is sending them.
  • Keep the descriptive link texts at 100 characters or less.
  • Do not create instructions based solely on placement on the page.
  • For example, do not write ‘in the box to the right’ but combine location and text, as here: ‘In the box to the right with the title “See more links and publications.”’
  • Give pictures a descriptive and meaningful alt text, which explains the picture for the blind and visually impaired.
  • If images are used purely decoratively as part of the graphic expression, add a blank alt text (alt = ””)
  • If there is a link in the image, describe the link destination in the alt text.
  • Avoid text on pictures, as it cannot be read by, for example, a digital assistant.
  • If it is still necessary, for example with infographics, diagrams or illustrations, make sure the meaning of the illustration is explained through text.
  • Make transcripts of video and audio on your website.
  • Make sure all videos have subtitles.
  • Add a description to all media content where you allow access to the transcript.
  • Avoid auto-play on audio and video content.
  • Allows users to pause, stop, or mute video and audio.
  • Make sure you set up correctly in, for example, Word or InDesign before you export to PDF.
  • Set up the text with a structure code that indicates whether it is body text, a headline, a list, or something else.
  • Use the built-in features of Word or InDesign so that it not only works visually, but also lies in the underlying structure of the document.
  • Enter title and metadata, alternate text, language settings.
  • Use bookmarks to provide an overview of the document's content and allow the user to skip between sections.
  • Avoid images or scanned content, or provide them with alternate text that allows screen readers to render the content.
  • Check that the PDF is not locked in a way that prevents, for example, a screen reader from being able to reproduce it to a user.
  • Export correctly to pdf so that all structure and formatting codes are saved. Do not use the function ‘print to PDF’ but instead ‘save as pdf’ or ‘convert to pdf’.
  • Acrobat Pro has a feature that allows you to check and make PDFs available.

If you want to know more about web accessibility and how to comply with the legislation on the WCAG principles, please contact me.