Accessibility Compliance Checklist

Assessment Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to assess and evaluate software procured by SPU for compliance with the American Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Compliance or intent to comply with these regulations are mandated by federal law and applies to all software procured by the University for use by the student population. 


It is up to all departments at SPU to ensure that the software they procure complies or intends to comply with these regulations. Use the guidelines below to determine whether potential systems conform to the guidelines that are required by law and by a moral code to make learning available to all. 

When considering new system, ensure that each option complies to WCAG 2 and Section 508 guidelines for accessibility.

Table of Contents

WCAG 2 Guidelines

New systems and applications should conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that are developed and published by WebAIM. All new software platforms, web-based platforms in particular, should conform to these guidelines to provide the most broad level of accessibility as possible.

Primary Principles

Version 2 of these guidelines are based on four primary principles:

  1. Perceivable - Are the user interfaces in the system available to the senses (vision and hearing, primarily) either through the browser or through assistive technologies (e.g. screen readers, enlargers, etc.)?

  2. Operable - Are users able to interact with all controls and interactive elements using either the mouse, keyboard, or an assistive device?
  3. Understandable - Is the content in the system clear? Does it limit confusion and ambiguity?
  4. Robust - Is the content accessible through a wide range of assistive technologies?

WCAG Checklist

Attached to this article is a PDF copy of the WCAG 2 checklist. Use it to determine the level of accessibility that a product offers. The checklist expands each WCAG principle into individual items that can be checked against a new system. 


The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) from the vendor is a document which evaluates how accessible a particular product is according to Section 508 Standards. The VPAT is a checklist of compliancy to those standards that vendors can provide to inquiring customers. When considering the software systems, request a completed VPAT and use it to consider a system's level of compliance. You can learn more about the VPAT here.

If a vendor does not have a completed VPAT, request one to be filled out using the following template.