IBM Accessibility Checklist

Version 7.0

This is the IBM Accessibility Checklist - Version 7.0. It replaced IBM Accessibility Checklist for Software - Version 6.1, IBM Accessibility Checklist for Web and Web-based Documentation - Version 6.1 and Documentation checklist version 2.1 on July 18, 2017.

This unified checklist and its checkpoint pages ensure that products comply with the Revised US Section 508 standards. It also captures additional requirements needed to meet European standard EN 301 549. See the Impact Analysis for how requirements have changed from the prior checklists.

Each section indicates whether it is relevant to web ( Web ), non-web software ( SW ) or support documentation ( Doc ). Review Using the IBM Accessibility Checklist for more information. The Summary of Changes lists all substantial modifications to this checklist since its release.


WCAG 2.0 Checkpoints

 Web   SW   Doc  These checkpoints apply to all electronic content, whether web or non-web software or documentation.

US Revised Section 508 Non-Web Software Checkpoints

 SW  These checkpoints must be completed by all software applications that are not web-based, including mobile apps.

US Revised Section 508 Authoring Tools Checkpoints

 Web   SW  These checkpoints must be completed by all applications that include tools for authoring content.

US Revised Section 508 Documentation Checkpoints

 Web   SW   Doc  These checkpoints must be completed for all products, whether the documentation is integrated into the application or provided separately.

EN 301 549 Additional Requirements

The following additional checkpoints are required to meet the European standard used in government procurement of accessible products. These are additional requirements of the EN 301 549 standard that aren't covered by the Revised Section 508 Standards.

Using the IBM Accessibility Checklist

Checkpoints are divided into sections that match the standards they reflect or enforce.


502 Interoperability with Assistive Technology and 503 Applications are parts of the Revised Section 508 requirements.

Platforms, software development toolkits, and software applications must comply with the 502 Interoperability checkpoints. Applications must comply with 503 Applications.

Examples of platforms are operating systems (including mobile), web browsers, plug-ins to web browsers which render a particular media or format, and sets of components which allow other applications to execute.

Applications may be web-based or client-side software. Examples of applications are email clients, word processors, help desk systems, content management systems, and e-learning courseware. There are some additional notes in the rationales or general techniques of some checkpoints on how to apply WCAG 2.0 to non-web software, or if a checkpoint does not apply to non-web software. These notes are specific to non-web software and should be disregarded by web development teams.

US Revised Section 508 Documentation Checkpoints

Support documentation for any content must be confirmed for accessibility, whether the documentation is integrated into the application or provided separately.

EN 301 549 Additional Requirements

The Revised Section 508 standards and the European EN 301 549 standard are closely aligned. However, these additional requirements of the European standard aren't covered by the Revised Section 508 Standards.

Hardware and Closed Systems

IBM teams can read about the status of IBM hardware and closed systems, as related to 508 Refresh, on the legacy internal IBM hardware page.

Note that hardware products that include any new or revised documentation or software (such as for remote connectivity or operation) must complete the new checklists for these items and produce the Accessibility Conformance Report (i.e., VPAT), even if the hardware itself is exempt from meeting the hardware requirements in the US Revised Section 508 Standards.

Testing and Compliance Reporting

IBM teams must use this checklist in conjunction with the following internal resources, as well as other information available ONLY internally on

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Many links in this checklist reside outside at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018:

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