Washburn University Official Websites - Accessibility and Quality Checklist

Checklist for main page of web site

Does the page have the following?

  1. a name of index.html? By naming your main home page index.html, users will be able to access your site without supplying a filename at the end of the address.
  2. * a title which contains the name of your web site followed by ", Washburn University". For example: Biology Department, Washburn University
  3. * the Washburn logo
  4. * the full name of the person to contact regarding your web site.
  5. * an email link behind the name of the contact person with an "" email address. For example, in the link Webmaster, the code "" is stored behind the Webmaster link. If you need an alias for your email contact, contact: .
  6. META tags to identify your web site to search engines. We recommend that you use the author, keyword and description META tags.

Items preceded with * are included in the Requirements for Construction of Official Washburn University Web Sites.


Checklist for each page of web site

Does your page contain? Note:
6.5 multiple trailers

When you transfer your web site to the web server, a "trailer" is automatically appended which includes the modification date(s) of the web pages in your web site and a Washburn University copyright:

[ Home ] [ News ] [ Calendars ] [ Search ] [ Site Map ] [ Contact Us ]
Modified January 18, 2001 | © 2000-2001 Washburn University

If a trailer is visible when you are editing a page, delete it before transferring the file to the web server.

7. a title * The title of your document, placed between the <TITLE> and </TITLE> tags, shows in the title bar of your browser window. It also shows in the list of documents when someone uses our search engine. It should be short but descriptive, and understandable on its own.
8. material (text or graphics) copyrighted by another * You must get permission from the author; state the permission on your web page.
9. blinking text ** Get rid of it. There is no way for the user to stop it from blinking.
10. links (a) ** Are the links understandable on their own? Do not hyperlink the URL, but instead the title of the web site that a user will get when they select the link. (For example, instead of hyperlinking, hyperlink the words Washburn University.)
** Do not use links like "Click here" because the user will not know what information they will see if they follow the link. In general, avoid the click terminology in your HTML files, since some users select links in other ways, such as tabbing through a page and pressing the ENTER key.

(b) Are any of the links dead? Review your site periodically to make sure that all links are still active.

11. images (a) Does each image have width and height attributes?

(b) Have your images been optimized (reduced in size to decrease download time)?

** (c) Does each image have alternative text associated with it. This is accomplished via the ALT attribute of the IMG element. Filler images should have ALT=" ".

12. color for contrast (a) Have you indicated a background color in your body tag? (Unix Communicator defaults to grey unless you override it in this way.)

** (b) Avoid using these colors together: grey, red, green, brown and purple. Do use blue, yellow, black and white for the best contrast.

13. color to convey information ** All information conveyed with color should also be conveyed without color, through context or markup. Do not rely on color alone to convey information. To see if this requirement is being meant, print the page out on a black and white printer.
14. many screenfuls of information (a) Provide a table of contents at the top of the document and navigational links throughout the document (to allow the user to return to the top or go to other portions of the document).

** (b) Provide a link which allows the user to "skip over navigational links".

15. client-side imagemaps ** provide alternative text through the ALT attribute of the AREA element. If your imagemap uses other than rectangular shapes, you must also provide redundant text links elsewhere on the page.
16. no spelling errors ** Just as in a printed publication, it is important that the document be checked for spelling errors.
17. tables to present tabular data ** Use the TH tag with the SCOPE attribute to identify column headers (TH SCOPE="col"). Use the TD tag with the SCOPE attribute to identify row headings (TD SCOPE="row").
18. complex tables to present tabular data ** For tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use the headers attribute of the TD element to associate an element of data with the appropriate header which has been identified in the id attribute of a TH element. Alternatively, you may use the SCOPE attribute in the TH or TD tag.
19. long tables Avoid long tables because they do not work very well from the Unix version of Communicator; break longer tables into separate tables.
20. animated images **Design an animated image so that it stops animating after a few seconds and doesn't loop continuously. **Images that flicker (with a repetitive strobe) should be designed so that the frame rate is not faster than two frames per second. This is especially important for larger flickering images or images which flicker between highly contrasting colors.
21. frames ** Always title your frames, using the title attribute of the FRAME element. Use titles such as "navigation bar" or "main frame" instead of "top" or "left" For complicated frame sets, use the "longdesc" attribute to explain the frame set in a separate HTML document.
22. style sheets (a) We recommend that you use the Washburn style sheet by including this line in the HEAD section of your HTML page:

<LINK REL="StyleSheet" HREF="" TYPE="text

/css" MEDIA="screen">

** (b) Documents shall be organized so they are readable without requiring an associated style sheet. Test to see how the page will look on a browser that does not utilize style sheets. A good way to do this is to use the "wuinfo" program on the "acc" machine, or run your page through the Lynx Viewer .

23. scripts to display content or create interface elements ** The information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology. If the script displays images, use the NOSCRIPT element to describe the action of the script.
24. pdf files or other files requiring a plug-in ** The page linking to the pdf files or other plug-in files (Real Audio, for example) must contain a link to the plug-in required to access the files (Acrobat reader, in the case of pdf files, Real Player in the case of Real Audio files).
25. Java applets ** Insert a description of the applet between the <APPLET> and </APPLET> tags.
26. multimedia pages ** Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
27. forms ** Design forms with accessibility in mind. Include directions and cues that will help the person with a visual disability complete the form. Be consistent in your placement of labels for field elements.
28. interactivity which involves a timed response ** Alert the user and give sufficient time to the user so that they can indicate that more time is required.

If you cannot meet the requirements indicated in ** above, your last resort is to create a text version of your page, and link to it from the upper left hand corner of the graphical version of your page.

To check a web page for accessibility issues, use the free tool named AChecker. Be sure to select "Section 508" under the "Options" link.

Free Web accessibility tools can be found at:


Checklist for your entire web site

30. Are there files in your web site space which have suffixes of html or htm that are not referenced by any other file in your web site space? These are called orphans, and they should be deleted from your web site. Orphans are picked up by our search engine. When a person uses our Search site, they might find your obsolete or incomplete file.
31. Have you updated your web site to reflect changes for the semester? * Web sites should be reviewed for changes at least every semester. Some web sites, with more dynamic information, need to be reviewed more often.
32. Have you changed all link references from to *Eventually, the address will be eliminated and your site will be unreachable.