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About Testing Tools

Learn about the different types of accessibility testing tools (artifacts) developed by the Federal CIO Council Accessible Electronic Documents Community of Practice (AED COP). To find the actual testing tools, visit the Test for Accessibility page and select the type of content you want to test.

Types of Testing Guidance

There are four types of AED COP testing guidance: baseline, authoring, detailed checklist, and printable checklist.


A set of 22 systematic repeatable test criteria that cover the Revised 508 Standards and align with applicable WCAG 2.0 Level AA success criteria. Individual tests contain sufficient information and instruction to make a consistent and unambiguous measurement independent of other tests. Each test case provides the following information:

  • Numbered Requirement: How the component(s) should function in order to meet the related standards.
  • Rationale: An explanation of the elements/components the requirement is addressing (technical aspect in layman’s terms), effects on accessibility, and consequences of incorrect implementation on accessibility (AT functionality), and the benefits of correct implementation.
  • Related Standards: Applicable 508 standards and alignment with relevant WCAG 2.0 success criteria. Note: A 508 standard or WCAG criteria may be addressed by multiple tests.


Explains how to use the native application’s built-in tools to author accessible content that is in accordance with the Revised 508 Standards. These documents do not contain best practices. Your agency should add additional guidance as needed, to meet your unique environment needs.

Detailed Checklist

Provides instruction on how to test and author documents for accessibility. All checkpoints correspond with the test cases found in the Baseline artifacts.

Printable Checklist

These documents function as reporting templates to capture test results related to Baseline test cases. Each document element that must be tested is accompanied with a list of questions. A tester has the ability to respond Yes, N/A or No to each question, and add comments to the test report. Add any additional test criteria that meets your agency’s unique environment needs.

Guidance in Development

The AED COP is currently developing updated checklists and testing instructions for the following authoring tools:

  • Microsoft Office 365 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
  • Microsoft Office 2013 (PowerPoint, Excel)

Note, the AED COP Committee includes representatives from the Departments of Defense, Education, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Federal Reserve Board, Internal Revenue Service, National Aeronautical Space Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, National Institute of Health, Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Access Board.

Contact us with feedback or questions.

Reviewed/Updated: May 2018

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