State of Connecticut Web Site Accessibility Committee ConneCT - Your Key to Accessibility

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Six Steps to Accessibility Certification

The process for testing your site is divided into six major steps. You can read through and follow the steps in order, or jump directly to one of the steps by using one of the following links:

  1. Alt text
  3. Valid HTML
  4. Other checklist items
  5. Screen reader
  6. Evaluation

These are links you can use for more information on specific issues or to access the checklists.

1. Check your entire site for alt text on all images, image maps, objects.

There are several sites you can use to test for alternative text for images:

W3C HTML Validation Service

Cynthia Says Portal

Web Accessibility Checker

Once all your pages have a Priority 1 Approved rating with any or all of the above sites, check off item 1.1 on the W3C Priority 1 checkpoints sheet, and items 6 and 8 within Graphics & Images on the State of Connecticut Evaluation Form.

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2. Test that all pages have a document type declaration (DOCTYPE).

Once you have determined that all your pages have a DOCTYPE, check off item 1 within "Universal Design" on the State of Connecticut Evaluation Form.

Here is a sample DOCTYPE declaration:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"

Microsoft FrontPage users: To declare a proper Default DOCTYPE in all your new web pages created from now on, please use these instructions.

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3. Test all pages for valid HTML.

Note: if a page fails the testing, it does not necessarily mean that it is not accessible. However, having "clean" HTML code helps to ensure that your pages are being rendered the way you expect, in a variety of browsers, and with assistive technology such as screen readers.

Once you have determined that all your pages have valid HTML, check off item 13 within "Universal Design" on the State of Connecticut Evaluation Form. You may optionally display the W3C button that indicates that the page is valid under the HTML level you are testing.

I used the tester at the following site, since it had a "batch" mode: You may also use the tester at the W3C site: Both validators will check for the existence of a valid DOCTYPE declaration.  

The following instructions are for the HTML help site:

If your site contains 60 pages or fewer, you can enter the URL of your main home page, then check the box for validate entire site. The output from this tester can be huge, so I suggest un-checking the box for Show input. If you wish to do just one URL at a time, you may enter it into the URL box on this page. If you wish to validate your entire site, and your site contains more than 60 pages, you will need to use the batch facility, available at:  The input box on that page allows up to 60 URLs, one per line. One way to facilitate future testing is to create a .txt file for yourself, with one line per page (full URL) of your site.  Split this file up into blocks of 60 or fewer, and cut & paste these lines into the input box.  This takes a bit of work, and needs to be maintained as pages are added to your site; but it makes it easier to run and re-run these tests after applying changes.

You may, if you wish, test pages that are on your computer, by using this page instead:  This is one page at a time, but is useful for interim testing prior to publishing.

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4. Other Checklist Items

Now you need to test your pages in several browsers, at least Internet Explorer and Firefox. You should also test some pages using a text-based browser, such as Lynx. (For the URL from which to obtain Lynx, and instructions on installing Lynx, go to

Test the pages using different monitor sizes, resolutions, and color depths.

While testing for a variety of browsers, you should be checking the other items on the W3C and State of Connecticut checklists, that would not have been flagged by the automated tools. An example: all the items pertaining to color, background and contrast (Item 2.1 on the W3C, Items 5, 6 in State of Connecticut - Universal Design, Items 1, 2, 3, 4 in State of Connecticut - Graphics and Images).

All checklist items should be reviewed. For your convenience, I have listed some other items where it would be common to have issues:

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5. Test pages with screen reading software.

You should test any pages which you are unsure of, and a random sampling of other pages in your site.  You may use a demo version of JAWS or Window-Eyes on your own computer.

To get a copy of the demo version of JAWS for Windows 9.0 Screen Reading Software, go to

To get a demo copy of Window-Eyes, go to

This final test should point out any areas that are still a problem, if any exist.

6. Request that your site be evaluated by the Accessibility Committee.

State of Connecticut Accessibility LogoWhen you are all done to this point, please download and complete the Web Site Certification Review Request Form and fax or mail it to the Committee Chair, to request that your site be evaluated by the Committee.  When your site has been reviewed and determined to be in compliance with the policy, you can add the logo and/or a statement to your site that indicates your site complies with the Universal Web Site Accessibility Policy for State Web Sites - Version 4.0. Please read the Policy on the Use of the State of Connecticut Web Site Accessibility Logo for more information.

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Written by: Bev Bellisio

Updated by: Kathleen Anderson


HTML 4.01 - Follow this link to view the page validation results|Valid CSS - Follow this link to view the page validation results