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Testing Documents for Section 508 Compliance

ASPA Digital Communications Division

Tutorial Overview

  • The goal is to teach you how to test Documents for Section 508 Compliance.
  • This course is targeted to individuals who receive or approve electronic documents.
  • This course does NOT teach how to correct errors in documents, or to test  non-text (e.g. audio and video documents)

Testing Documents for Section 508 Compliance

  • Ensure every electronic document received is accessible.
  • Use of acquisition language ensures that at least one version must be accessible
  • Send a non-compliant document back to its creator for correction!
    • Especially when working with non-departmental staff and consultants.
  • Documents that are submitted as part of the proposal cycle and as project deliverables (monthly reports, change requests) must meet Section 508.

Tutorial Outline

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this tutorial, the learner will be able to:

  • Identify common document elements required by HHS for compliant documents
  • Identify HHS Best Practices for document creation
  • Test documents for:
    • Document structure and reading order
    • Non-text images
    • Other document elements
  • Implement a variety of tests, including:
    • Manual tests
    • Automated PDF tests

MODULE 1
Common Document Properties

Common Elements Required By HHS

When testing, determine that:

  1. Document properties for Title, Author, Subject, Keywords, and Language are properly filled out.
  2. All Comments and Markup items are deleted.
  3. No hidden data is present.
  4. Color is not the only method used to convey  information.
  5. There are no flashing/flickering or animated elements.
  6. All images and/or non-text elements have alternative text descriptions.
  7. All charts and graphs have either an alternative text description or provide a description in the text immediately adjacent to the chart/graph.
  8. Data tables identify row and column headers.
  9. Data cells in tables are associated with row and column headers.
  10. There are no merged or split cells in tables.
  11. All tables read from left to right and top to bottom.
  12. All hyperlinks are active and use the fully-qualified URL, e.g., http://www.hhs.gov/ (not simply www.hhs.gov).
  13. Delete or remove tracked changes and previous version information.

Document Properties – HHS Best Practices

  • Slide Properties Summary tab
    • Names document author for ownership and keywords
Properties Summary tab, with name, document author, and keyword information

Accessible Documents are Structured Documents!

  • A document that is well-structured and logically organized can easily be:
    • read and navigated by Assistive Technology
    • exported to other applications, with minimal adjustment to maintain accessibility.
  • Success depends upon:
    • a clear, hierarchical structure
    • use of reliable publishing tools
    • use of functionality/enhancements provided by Microsoft, NetCentric and Adobe geared toward compliance with Section 508

MODULE 2
Testing Microsoft Word Documents

Overview of Word Testing

  • This Module covers testing Microsoft Word documents for:
    • Styles used for document structure
      • Simple tests for headings
    • Reading order
    • Tables
    • Images
      • Alternate text
    • Charts
    • Hyperlinks

Accessibility Elements to Test

  • Styles
  • Text elements, format and spacing
    • Color contrast between text and background is greater than 4.5:1
    • Information is not conveyed by color alone
    • Page numbers
    • Numbers in bulleted styles
  • Non-text elements
    • Images
    • Tables
    • Diagrams

Testing Styles in Word 2007

  1. Select the desired text
  2. The highlighted text shows its formatting in the toolbar field
Screen capture of the text tool showing the dropdown menu to select other styles.

Test Text Formatting

  • Do not pass documents that rely on bold or italic font instead of styles for headings
header Views

Simple Tests for Headings

  • Check that headings are different from the body text.
    • Different type size and different font.
  • Check that heading text does not run into body text.
    • Spacing helps differentiate between headings and body text.

Screen capture of document having two levels of headings and body text.

Check Page Numbering

  • If the document uses page numbers, check to see if they have been automatically inserted in the document
    • View the document in the Print Layout mode
    • Page numbers should appear grayed out on either the top or bottom of the document

Test Reading Order of Columns

  • Here is an easy method to check columns:
    • Highlight several lines in the left column.
    • Only text in that column should highlight.
  • Make sure that the margin between the columns is wide enough to clearly separate them.

Graphic with two columns. The first columun highlights the text 'Do not use Tab key to mimic the appearance of columns.' The second column contains the unhighlighted text, 'Assistive Technolgy will read tabbed text line by line, from left to right.'

Table Accessibility Check

  • The table anchor icon indicates that a table has been properly created in Word

Table in MS Word. The anchor icon is shown in the upper left-hand corner, below the caption for the table.

Accessible Table Testing

  • Column and row headers are labeled
    • Column headings should appear at the top of each column
    • Any row headings should be positioned in the first left-hand column
    • Headings should be short and descriptive
  • Tables are labeled and described
    • Captions appear either above or below tables, indicating the number and title of the table
    • Tables are described in the body text of the document

Table in MS Word. The header row is the first row of the table, with the caption

Check Tables

  • Check for merged or split cells in headings and rows,and if present adjust the table


table merged cells 222

  • Ensure that tables spanning multiple pages have headings that repeat on each page

Checks for Accessible Images

  • Captions and alternative text for all images
  • Images have "Text Wrapping" set to "In line with text"
  • No text boxes for simple graphics
  • No background images or watermarks on a page

Test Images

Test images in the Image Properties context menu.

From the document:

  1. Right click on the image to retrieve the Image Properties context menu

 

The Formatting menu with a red arrow pointing to the Format Picture selection.

Image Properties

  • Two properties associated with a graphic require testing in order to ensure that the graphic can be read by Assistive Technology.
    • Text Wrapping
    • Alt Text


Screen capture of the Format Picture tool. The Layout and Web tabs are highlighted with red boxes.

Text Wrapping Test

 

  1. Right-click on the image
  2. Select Text Wrappingd
Screen capture of the Format Picture tool. The Layout tab is selected. The Wrapping style choice In line with Text is selected. A red arrow points to the In line with text icon.

Alternative Text Test

  1. Right-click on the image
  2. Select Size
  3. Select the Alt Text tab
  4. Check that the graphic has alternative text in the Alternative text box
  5. Decorative or background images should be blank.
Screen capture of the Format Picture tool. The Web tab is selected. The alternative text is added. A red arrow points to the alternative text.


Group Multi-Layered Objects

When an illustration is created from several smaller images (such as with a collage), it is helpful to group the clip art or photographs together so that one object is stored. This makes it easier for assistive technology to discern the object.

Follow these steps to group objects together:

  1. Select the images by pressing the shift key, and clicking on each one in turn
  2. Right click, select “Grouping”, and then Group. The objects will group together as one image



There are five images grouped together in this picture. The first grouping is an illustration that is ungrouped of three images: a blue square, a gray arrow and a red hexagon. The fourth image is a grouped object of the same three images: blue box, gray arrow and red hexagon. The fifth image is the formatting menu with Format Object selected.

Accessible Complex Images
(Diagrams, Charts, and Graphs)

  • Complex Images require descriptive text
    • Alt Text should briefly describe image and refer to the location of the long description
    • Reference description of image in body of document
  • Check Captions/Labels
    • Captions appear either above or below images, indicating the number and title of the image
Flow Chart with two decision points labeled

Word Testing Review

  • Test Table of Contents
  • Test styles for document structure
    • Simple Tests for Headings
  • Test Columns
  • Test Tables
  • Test for Images
    • Alternative Text
  • Test Charts

MODULE 3
Testing PDF Documents with Adobe Acrobat Professional X

Overview of PDF Testing

  • This Module covers methods of testing PDF documents:
    • Adobe Automated Testing
    • Manual Testing
      • Use the Tab Key to test tab order
      • Test Reading Order
      • Test Images for Alternative Text
      • Test Scanned Documents for OCR
  • Use Assistive Technology to Test Reading Order

PDF Accessibility

  • Before a PDF is accessible, it must:
    1. Be properly tagged
    2. Have a logical reading and tab order
    3. Have alternative text for all images and objects
    4. Have a specified language
    5. Have bookmarks linked to the various sections of the document for files of 10 pages or more

Accessibility Test Questions

  1. Does the document contain actual text?
    1. Scanned representations of text are not accessible.
  2. Does content follow a logical reading order?
  3. Are tabbed elements placed in a logical tab order?
  4. Has the document been tagged and has a clear document structure been defined?
  5. Has alternative text been appropriately applied to all images, objects and form field elements?
  6. Do data tables contain Column or Row header tags?
  7. Are elements that should be ignored by a screen reader tagged as artifacts?
  8. Are hyperlinks active and linked to the appropriate destination?
  9. Are bookmarks labeled properly and linked to the appropriate destination?

PDF Accessibility Checks

  • To verify that accessibility conditions are met:
    • Run Adobe’s Accessibility Full Check and Section 508 check.
      (Please note that the use of NetCentric's CommonLook Plugin is recommended.)
    • Manually test for Alt Text and reading order
    • Use Assistive Technology or Adobe Acrobat reader’s built-in screen reader Read Out Loud to test reading order.

Adobe Accessibility Full Check

To select the automatic Full Check option in Adobe Professional:

  1. Select Advanced from the Main menu
  2. Select Accessibility from the Advanced dropdown menu
  3. Select Full Check from the Accessibility dropdown menu

Full Check Selection

Adobe Accessibility Full Check

  1. The Accessibility full check dialog box opens.
  2. In the “Report and Comment Options” section, select the option for how you want to view the results.
  3. In the “Page Range” section, select the page range if you prefer to do a selective check on individual sections of the document.
  4. In the “Checking Options” selection, activate the Name arrow and select Section 508 Web-based.
  5. Uncheck the “c”) Color box, as that always requires a manual check
  6. Click Start Checking button. The results will display in the Accessibility Report panel.
  7. Also run an automated check with the Adobe PDF option.

[We encourage you to run both the "Adobe PDF" check and the "Section 508 web-based intranet and internet information and applications (1194.22)" check. See the "Checking Options" pull-down menu to make the selection.]

Accessibility Full Check options box with correct options selected.

Accessibility Full Check Settings

  • An Accessibility Report will open
  • If additional help is needed, Press the F1 key to launch Adobe Help Viewer
Accessibility Report screen capture. Report contents are Detailed Report, Summary and Hints for Repair.

Manual Checks

  • Use the Tab Key to test tab order
  • Test Reading Order
  • Test Images for Alternative Text
  • Test Scanned Documents for OCR

View and Test Reading Order

  1. Select the View dropdown menu from the Main menu
  2. Select Navigation Tabs from the View dropdown menu
  3. Select the ReadingOrder button from the sidebar menu

    Menu path described in the slide to View and check reading order


the Options tab, showing the reading order option.

  • Once the Order Panel is displayed, numbered boxes appear on the document, revealing the document’s reading order. Verify it follows a logical order (left to right, top to bottom).
Reading order of a document displayed in Adobe Acrobat. the upper left-hand corner of each image, table, or text area is numbered in the order in which it will be read (e.g. 1; 2; 3; etc.).

Testing for Alternative Text

  • An image without Alt Text looks like this using the Order tab view


Images and figures that do not have alternate text have an x through them and the label reads: No alternate text exists.

Scanned Documents

  • Are usually images and not accessible
  • They need to be recreated and scanned in Adobe Acrobat Professional with OCR activated

Read Out LoudFunction

  • Use Assistive Technology or
  • the built-in screen reader to test the PDF’s reading order:
    • From the View menu select Read Out Loud and then one of the available choices.
    • Choose either Read This Page Only or Read To The End Of Document
Screen capture of the selection process for the Read Out Loud screen reader. A red arrow points to the reading options. Read this page only is selected by Shift + Control + V. The read to end of document choice is selected by Shift + Control + B.

Review PDF Accessibility

  • Testing PDFs for Accessibility
    • Adobe Automated Testing
    • Manual Testing
      • Use the Tab Key to test tab order
      • Test Reading Order
      • Test for Alternative Text for Images
      • Test Scanned Documents for OCR
  • Use Screen Reader to Test Reading Order

Resources - Government

Resources - Document



MODULE 4
Testing Microsoft Excel

Excel Testing Overview

  • This Module covers testing Microsoft Excel documents for:
    • Column and Row Headers
    • Charts
    • Images
      • Alternative Text
    • Comments and Notes
    • Worksheet Titles

Check Excel Document

  • Column and Row Headers must be labeled
  • Ensure that tables spanning multiple pages have headings that repeat on each page
  • Only one data table per worksheet is allowed
  • Merged and split cells should be avoided


Excel document with column and row headers labeled

Test Charts

Check for proper labeling:

  • Title
  • Legend
  • Axis


A complex bar chart. It is titled, has axis labels and a legend.

Test Alternative Text

  • All images and charts require alternative text
  • Alt Text is applied and checked in the same way as Word
  • Decorative or background images should have no Alternative text
Format Picture tool showing the Web Alternative Text field.

Test Comments and Notes

  • Check that comments and notes are not hidden or are removed.
  • Notation must indicate when data affects another linked worksheet or file.


A hidden comment is made visible. This same comment is entered on a line in the Excel document. Red arrows highlight the two comments.

Check Worksheets For Titles

  • Worksheet tab titles must accurately describe content


Meaningful titles on a word sheet such as: FY06 Year End, FY07 Year End and FY08 Year Estimate.

Review Excel Tests

  • Check Excel Document
    • Column and Row Headers
    • Check for merged and split cells
    • Ensure that tables spanning multiple pages have headings that associate with each page
    • Only one data table per worksheet
  • Test Charts for Labels
    • Title
    • Legend
    • Axis
  • Test images
    • Alternative Text
  • Test Comments and Notes
  • Test Worksheet Titles

MODULE 5
Testing Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint Testing Overview

  • This Module covers testing Microsoft PowerPoint documents for
    • Document Structure
    • Images
    • Charts
    • Tables

Test Slide Layouts

  • Text in a text box will not appear in the Outline View
  • All Text must appear in Outline View


Test Slide Titles

  • All slides must have unique Titles. Slide titles should be created in a Title Holder, not with a text box.
  • Test by looking at the Outline view.


Title Holder 44

Title Text Box Error

  • The Title Holder has not been used if no text is next to the slide icon
  • All Text must appear in Outline View
Title Holder NO

Test Text

  • Slide layouts are used for all text
  • All text should appear in the outline view
  • Text Box text does not appear in the Outline view


Screen capture of the Outline view. Text added in a text box instead of by the slide layout does not appear in the Outline view. An arrow points to where the text is missing.

Test For Animation

  • Send back any PowerPoint with:
    • Flickering and/or flashing text or objects
    • Animated text or objects

Picture Formatting

  • Graphics must have alternative text unless decorative or background image
Format Picture tool has the Web menu selected. Alternative text entry field states: Alternative text is added Here.

Grouping Images

  • An illustration created from several smaller images must be grouped to form one object
  • Check to see that Alt Text is associated with the grouped object


There are five images grouped together in this picture. The first grouping is an illustration that is ungrouped of three images: a blue square, a gray arrow and a red hexagon. The fourth image is a grouped object of the same three images: blue box, gray arrow and red hexagon. The fifth image is the formatting menu with Format Object selected.

Checking Charts

  • Check to see that charts were created in PowerPoint
  • If charts were copied from another program, they are treated as images
  • Images are not accessible without Alt Text

Test Charts

Check for

  • Title
  • Legend
  • Axis Labels
The Bar Graph Chart is created in PowerPoint. Chart is titled Calls Per Year. The legend has groups are East, West and North. The row axis Labels are: 0,20,40,60,80,100. The column axis labels are: First Quarter, Second Quarter, Third Quarter and Fourth Quarter. The columns are titled Calls by Quarter.

Tables

  • Tables are a layout based on rows and columns
  • Check that tables were created within PowerPoint
  • When tables are imported into PowerPoint from another program or source, they are recognized as images

Checking a Table

Check table structure for

  • Logical relationships between data
  • Labeled column and row headers
  • No merged or split cells
NameAgeBirthday
Jackie5April 5
Beth8January 14

Review Testing PowerPoint

  • Test Document Structure
    • Slide titles created with the Title Holder
    • Text created only in layout style
  • Test Images
    • Alternative Text
    • Picture Formatting and Grouping
  • Test Charts
  • Test for Animation
  • Tables