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Manual Accessibility Testing

Walk through a manual check of your website to uncover accessibility barriers automated testing tools may miss

How to conduct a manual test

Simple manual tests do not require extensive accessibility knowledge, expensive software solutions, or a suite of assistive technology applications.

However, it’s not feasible or realistic to perform manual tests on every single webpage. Start by reviewing some of these key pages:

  • Site templates
  • Interactive forms
  • Dynamic content pages
  • Pages with dialog modals and alert notifications
  • Key entry and exit pages (including account login and recovery pages)
  • Help and assistance pages

Webpages that receive a significant amount of traffic or page views may also be candidates for manual testing while using automated testing for other pages. 

Follow the guide below to manually assess your webpages or download a printable checklist

Simple manual tests for websites

The following manual tests can be performed quickly and easily to determine if any accessibility issues exist that would limit the participation of individuals with disabilities.


Alternative text is provided for all images and appropriately describes the content and/or purpose of the image.

Headings, Links, and Text

  • Headings are properly marked using the appropriate HTML H1-H6 elements and are used to group and organize page content.
  • Hyperlinks have unique or descriptive text. The purpose of the link can be determined from its text. For example, link text such as “Read more” and “Click here” is not descriptive.
  • All text content has sufficient contrast with background colors.
  • When webpages are zoomed to 200%, the text content and interactive elements are still visible and functional.

Keyboard Interactions

  • The browser focus indicator is visible and distinguishable when navigating all interactive elements with the keyboard.
  • All interactive elements (links, buttons, accordions, etc.) are operable using the keyboard.
  • Modal dialogs windows correctly retain keyboard focus when open and can be closed using the Esc key.
  • Time-out notifications allow at least 20 seconds for the user to modify or extend the interaction time period using a simple keypress.


  • Form fields have persistently visible labels that do not disappear when you start typing.
  • When a form displays input errors, those errors are identified and focus is directed back to the invalid field.

Media and Animation

  • Audio files have accurate transcripts on the page.
  • Videos include accurate captions.
  • Any moving, flashing or blinking content lasting for more than five seconds (including carousels, pop-up notifications, or auto-play videos) have a mechanism to pause, stop, or hide that animation or movement.


  • A page title is present in the browser tab that is unique and appropriate to the page content and/or task.
  • A “Skip Navigation” solution is present for pages with repeated navigation.