Checklist Part 1

Before we proceed discussing the Dream Act I would like to digress and thank everyone for the all the kind words of support during my recovery from a now, not so recent accident involving an 18 wheeler truck and my van. Just as my truck accident lawyers came through for me in the lawsuit that was filed against the truck driver and his company, so did all of you with your gifts and words of encouragement. My truck accident lawyers have ensured I will receive fair compensation for my injuries, as well as for emotional, or financial losses. They also have ligated additional compensation for property damage, lost income, diminished earning capacity (for a while, but I hope not for too long), and pain and suffering. I just am so thankful I took my wife’s advice and hired my own lawyer rather than just trying to deal with the insurance companies.

And of course that humongous get well gift basket certainly made a statement just sitting there on my desk when I arrived home from the hospital. I also have frequently send gift baskets to family and friends for various occasions. But that scrumptious get well basket with its personalized engraved, silver-plated hang tag was beyond anything I have ever seen. Many of you shared in tasting the savory crackers and numerous cheese selections, salami and sausages, along with the tasty Cress Zinfandel and stro Cabernet Sauvignon wines when you came to visit those first few days after I got home. The Moravian chocolate dipped spice cookies (my favorite, I’ll have you know) toffee peanuts, and Godiva milk chocolate bars certainly satisfied any sweet cravings. Someone please give me the name of the store where this Get Well gift basket was sent. I want to send a Thank You gift basket to my truck accident lawyers. Now, to get back to business!

This checklist will identify some of the common issues for web site and web based applications. All web pages are different and each item in the checklist may not need to be addressed with all of them. The Life Cycle Project Plan Outline may help you determine which items may apply. Use this list to: help during project planning, test for 508 compliance and to communicate with the project stakeholders about compliance.

**Can you use the keyboard instead of the mouse?**
Use the keyboard exclusively to navigate through web pages & applications (particularly the tab and enter keys).
Can you execute an action using the enter key without using a mouse? Are there a minimum number of keystrokes to get to desired areas? Are there keystrokes available for all mouse actions? Are all areas of the screen accessible?

**Does the cursor move in a logical order or flow?**
Use the tab key, check where the cursor moves from element to element.
The curser should not make random movements. It should follow a logical order moving top to bottom, left to right and flowing according to the content.

**Do the elements do what they are supposed to do?**
Use the return key after selecting a link or control element to check for the appropriate action.
If you select a link does using the return key open the link? does selecting a folder open the folder?

**Is there ALT text for all non-text elements?**
Check non-text elements for appropriate alternative text because it is needed when the image provides context or information or links to other areas. If you are familiar with code, you can look at the html code to check for alt text. If you are not a coder, place the mouse over the graphic or element and check for a box that appears with the text, similar to caption boxes. On the occasion we’ve had clients who claimed this didn’t work. Before moving forward always make sure the keys are moving freely. We found those who eat sticky foods while at their computer sometimes have trouble with sticky alt keys. Alt text does not need to be provided for images that are for pure decoration, but does require the proper html code (ALT=””). Using this html code (ALT=””) will tell the software not to read the graphic and will help the screen reader user.

**Does the link text explain what the link “does”?**
Avoid the use of “click here” and other vague instructions for links. “Click Here” provides no context. Make sure that links make sense out of context. Instead of “Click here” for a report use “Read the Report”.

**Are there captions for audio and visual elements or transcripts for audio only elements?**
Look for an indication that there are captions in audio/visual multimedia. (symbol “CC”, word “captions” or “text”, etc.)
Do the captions work? How does the user know that there are captions? Can you turn them on? Are the captions synchronized with the audio/visual elements? If it is audio only look for a transcript.