Accessibility checklists can be helpful if used right

It is sometimes argued that using checklists when implementing or evaluating accessibility will lead to “checklist accessibility”, where developers blindly follow a checklist and do what they have to do to be able to check each item off the list without understanding why.

I agree that in the wrong hands, checklists can be used incorrectly. But I don’t see how you get from there to all forms of accessibility checklists being harmful. When constructed and used correctly by people who understand why the items on the list are important, checklists can be a great help to both developers and evaluators.

Karl Groves goes into more details about this in In Defense of “Checklist” Accessibility, giving the following as reasons for checklist accessibility being valuable:

  • Completeness
  • Accuracy
  • Reliability
  • Repeatability
  • Defensibility

He also mentions a very important thing: checklist quality is critical.

All very good arguments to me. But then I already like having simple checklists to aid my memory.

Posted on May 18, 2011 in Accessibility, Productivity

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