Importance of Lists

A person with a visual impairment will not perceive the visual cues that help a sighted person understand that a set of items, displayed in digital content, should be considered as a group. When a person using assistive technology, like a screen-reader, comes across an accessible list in digital content, the first thing identified will be the number of items in the list. This helps orient them to the fact that they are entering a list, and how long it is.

If a list is improperly formatted, it may be confusing as to why there is a random string of words like “apple orange banana” in the middle of a document.

There are two main types of lists: Unordered (bulleted) and ordered (numbered or lettered).

Unordered List

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pears

Ordered List

  1. Add flour to bowl.
  2. Add yeast to the flour.
  3. Add warm water.

Common Errors

These common errors hinder the accessibility and usability of digital content.

  • Improperly formatting content to look like a list (and nested lists), including manually inserting indents, bullets, or numbers.

Best Practices 

Follow these best practices to improve the accessibility and usability of digital content.


  • Apples
    • Red Delicious
    • Granny Smith
  • Pears
    • Bartlett
    • Asian

Accessibility Checks 

Use this checklist as a guide to ensure your lists are in an accessible format.