PDF File 508 Checklist
If you are responsible for creating or signing off/clearing files, you can use this checklist as part of your process. You may find it helpful to review the checklist before you create your file, and also to print out the checklist and check off each item after you have created your file, or when you receive the file.
1.0. Master Requirements for all Documents
Does the document file name not contain spaces and/or special characters?
Is the document file name concise, generally limited to 20-30 characters, and does it make the contents of the file clear?
Have the Document Properties for Title, Author, Subject (AKA Description), Keywords, Language, and Copyright Status been applied per HHS guidance?
Does the document utilize recommended fonts (i.e., Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, or Calibri)?
Have track changes been accepted or rejected and turned off?
Have comments been removed and formatting marks been turned off?
Does the document refrain from using flashing/flickering text and/or animated text?
Is the document free of background images or watermarks?
Do all images, grouped images, and nontext elements that convey information have meaningful alternative-text descriptions?
Do complex images (i.e., charts and graphs) have descriptive text near the image (perhaps as a caption)?
Are all URLs linked to correct Web destinations?
Are e-mail links accessible?
Has a separate accessible version of the document been provided when there is no other way to make the content accessible?
If there are tables, are blank cells avoided?
Is all of the text easy to read in comparison to the background of the document (i.e., has a color-contrast ratio of 4.5:1)?
Has the document been reviewed in Print Preview for a final visual check?
2.0. General Layout and Formatting Requirements
Is the document free of scanned images of text?
Have bookmarks been included in all PDFs that are more than 9 pages long? And, if bookmarks are present do they mirror the reading order?
Are decorative images marked as background?
Have all scanned signatures been removed from the PDF?
Is the style being used as opposed to manually typed characters (e.g., hyphens, numbers, or graphics)?
Has the automated software checker been run for Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 and did those checks pass?
Has tabular formatting been removed from nontabular content?
Do images/graphics appear crisp and legible?
3.0. Accessibility Tagging and Reading Order
Have the accessibility tags been added to the document?
Has the PDF been formatted using Style elements (Heading 1, Heading 2) and/or Outline in a hierarchical manner (i.e., Heading 1 to Heading 2 to Body Text)?
Is the PDF tagged with a logical reading/tabbing order (e.g., from left to right, top to bottom)?
Is the PDF tagging free of any nonstandard/custom tags?
Have documents with multicolumn text, tables, or call-out boxes been checked for correct reading order?
4.0. Document Images Requirement
Are multiple associated images on the same page (e.g., boxes in an organizational chart) grouped as one object?
Have all multilayered objects been flattened into one image and does that image use one alternative text description for the image?
5.0. PDF Tables
If the document has a tabular appearance, was that tabular structure made using the table option (as opposed to manual tabs and/or spaces)?
Do all tables have a logical reading order from left to right, top to bottom?
Do all data tables in the document have Row and/or Column headers?
Do header rows repeat across pages if the table is multiple pages?
Are all table cells, with the exception of those in the Header Rows or columns, designated as data cells?
Are data cells set so they do not split across pages?
If the table is a simple table, does it have scoping applied to the appropriate Row/Column Headers?
If the table is a complex table, does it have id and header attributes to associate the data cells with the column/row headers?
Are all tables described and labeled (where appropriate)? Note: In some cases naming/numbering of tables may not be appropriate. For example, a small data table in a presentation may not need a reference.
6.0. Form Fields
Do all form fields have correct labels and markups?
Are all form fields keyboard accessible?
Are all options within the form choices keyboard accessible?