Ally’s accessibility checklist is based on WCAG 2.1 AA (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). This is an international accessibility standard, and most of the new legislation and legal requirements worldwide aligns with this standard.

Additionally, Ally also adds a number of additional checks on top of this that start to target the usability and quality of the content a bit more.


What content does Ally check?

Ally currently checks these file formats:

  • Web pages/ HTML content
  • Images
  • PDF files
  • Microsoft® Word files
  • Microsoft® Powerpoint® files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files

Content editor (WYSIWYG) content

Currently, instructors and editors don't see an accessibility score for content created in their system content editor.

Ally also checks content created through the system content WYSIWYG editor for accessibility issues. The data is appears in the Institutional Report as HTML. It appears in the CSV export as application/x-page.

Ally Administrator Accessibility Checklist


HTML checklist

  • Accesskey attribute value must be unique
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.1.1 Keyboard
  • Active <area> elements must have alternate text
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
  • Elements must only use allowed ARIA attributes
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.1 Parsing
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • Required ARIA attributes must be provided
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.1 Parsing
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • Certain ARIA roles must contain particular children
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • Certain ARIA roles must be contained by particular parents
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • ARIA roles used must conform to valid values
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.1 Parsing
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • ARIA attributes must conform to valid names
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.1 Parsing
  • ARIA attributes must conform to valid values
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.1 Parsing
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • <audio> elements must have a <track> for captions
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded)
  • <blink> elements are deprecated and must not be used
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide
  • Buttons must have discernible text
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • Page must have a way to bypass repeated blocks of content
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks
  • Checkbox inputs with the same name attribute value must be part of a group
  • Text elements must have sufficient color contrast against the background
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
    • Major issue
  • <dl> elements must only directly contain properly-ordered <dt> and <dd> groups, <script> or <template> elements (Minor)
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • <dt> and <dd> elements must be contained by a <dl>
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • Embedded YouTubeTM videos should have captions

    Auto-generated YouTube captions are not considered to be valid captions.

    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded)
    • Major issue
  • id attribute value must be unique
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.4.2 Page titled
  • Headings should be present
    • Major issue
  • Headings should not be empty
    • WCAG 2.1 – 2.4.6 Headings and Labels
    • Major issue
  • Frames must have unique title attribute
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks
  • <html> element must have a lang attribute
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.1.1
  • Heading levels should only increase by one
    • Minor issue
  • Images must have alternate text description
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
    • Major issue
  • Text of buttons and links should not be repeated in the image alternative description
    • Major issue
  • Image buttons must have alternate text
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
    • Major issue
  • Form elements must have labels
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions
    • Major issue
  • Form elements should have a visible label
    • Major issue
  • <html> element must have a valid value for the lang attribute
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.1.1 Language of Page
    • Minor issue
  • Layout tables must not use data table elements
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • Links must be distinguished from surrounding text in a way that does not rely on color
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.1 Use of Color
    • Major issue
  • Links must have discernible text
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
    • WCAG 2.1 - 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
    • Minor issue
  • <ul> and <ol> must only directly contain <li> content elements
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • <li> elements must be contained in a <ul> or <ol>
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • <marquee> elements are deprecated and must not be used
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide
  • Timed refresh must not exist
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.2.1Timing Adjustable
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.2.4 Interruptions
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.2.5 Change on Request
  • Zooming and scaling must not be disabled (2x)
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.4 Resize text
  • Zooming and scaling should allow maximum scale of 5
  • <object> elements must have alternate text
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
  • Radio inputs with the same name attribute value must be part of a group
  • Content should be contained in a landmark region
  • scope attribute should be used correctly on tables
  • Server-side image maps must not be used
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.1.1Keyboard
  • The page should have a skip link as its first link
  • Elements should not have tabindex greater than zero
  • The <caption> element should not contain the same text as the summary attribute
  • Data or header cells should not be used to give caption to a data table
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Major issue
  • All non-empty <td> elements in a table larger than 3 by 3 must have an associated table header
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Major issue
  • All cells in a <table> element that use the headers attribute must only refer to other cells of that same table
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • All <th> elements and elements with role=columnheader/rowheader must have data cells they describe
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
  • Documents must have <title> element to aid in navigation
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.4.2 Page titled
  • lang attribute must have a valid value
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.1.2 Language of Parts
    • Minor issue
  • <video> elements must have a <track> for captions
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.2.2 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded)
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded)
    • Major issue
  • <video> elements must have an audio description track
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)
    • Major issue

Image checklist

This includes JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BPM, and TIFF files.

  • The image can induce seizures
    • WCAG 2.1 - 2.3 Seizures
    • Severe issue
  • The image does not have an alternative description
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
    • Major issue
  • The image has text that is not part of the alternative description
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.5 Images of text
    • Minor issue
  • The image has contrast issues
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.6 Contrast (Enhanced)
    • Major issue

PDF checklist

  • The PDF is malformed
    • Severe issue
  • The PDF is encrypted
    • Severe issue
  • The PDF is scanned
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.5 Images of text
    • Severe issue
  • The PDF is untagged
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships o
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence
    • Major issue
  • The PDF does not have a language set
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.1.1 Language of Page
    • Minor issue
  • The PDF does not have the correct language set
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.1.1 Language of Page
    • Minor issue
  • The PDF has images without alternative descriptions
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
    • Major issue
  • The PDF has contrast issues
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.6 Contrast (Enhanced)
    • Major issue
  • The PDF does not have any headings

    This accessibility check is currently only enforced for PDFs that have a minimum of 3 pages.

    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Major issue
  • The PDF does not have an appropriate heading structure
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Minor issue
  • The PDF’s heading structure does not start at one
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Minor issue
  • The PDF’s heading structure goes beyond six levels
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Minor issue
  • The PDF has tables that don't have any headers
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Major issue
  • The PDF does not have a title
    • WCAG 2.1 – 2.4.2 Page Titled
    • Minor issue

Office document checklist

This includes Microsoft® Word, Microsoft® PowerPoint®, LibreOffice Writer, LibreOffice Impress.

  • The document is malformed
    • Severe issue
  • The document does not have a language set
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.1.1 Language of Page
    • Minor issue
  • The document does not have the correct language set
    • WCAG 2.1 - 3.1.1 Language of Page
    • Minor issue
  • The document has images without alternative descriptions
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.1.1 Non-text Content
    • Major issue
  • The document has contrast issues
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.4.6 Contrast (Enhanced)
    • Major issue
  • The document does not have any headings

    This accessibility check is currently only enforced for Word documents that contain a minimum of 12 paragraphs.

    This accessibility check enforces a minimum of 1 title for every 7 slides in a PowerPoint document.

    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Major issue
  • The document does not have an appropriate heading structure
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Minor issue
  • The document heading structure does not start at one
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Minor issue
  • The document’s heading structure goes beyond six levels
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Minor issue
  • The document has tables that don't have any headers
    • WCAG 2.1 - 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
    • Major issue