How can I make lists of items accessible?

If you think of a series of items as a list, making it into a numbered or bulleted list will help assistive technology users to navigate and understand the items in the list.  Assistive technology (opens new window) includes any piece of equipment, product or system that is used to improve the functional capacities of people with disabilities.  Keyboards, screen readers, and screen magnifiers are commonly used forms of assistive technology.

Keyboard users can jump from item to item in a list.  A screen reader can identify a list and tell someone how many items they will find in it.  For example, a screen reader might begin reading a bulleted list containing three items as follows: "List of three items. Bullet 1."

If you are enumerating items, the added benefit of using a numbered list is that when you add an item in the middle of the list, all the numbers below it automatically change as needed.

This article answers the following questions about lists:

What is a "true" numbered or bulleted list?

A numbered or bulleted list is created using one of the list buttons in the Rich-Text Editor.  Below are examples of text that include "true" numbered and bulleted lists.

Simply typing numbers with parentheses or periods, such as "1), 2), 3)," or an asterisk in front of each item on a new line or paragraph will NOT create a numbered or bulleted list.

Example with a numbered list

You can create two kinds of lists:

  1. Numbered lists, like this one,
  2. Bulleted lists.

Example with a bulleted list

You can create two kinds of lists:

  • Numbered lists,
  • Bulleted lists, like this one.

How do I create a numbered list?

Create a numbered or bulleted list.

To create a numbered list in the Rich-Text Editor, select the Insert/Remove Numbered List button.  This button has a picture of the numbers 1 and 2, each followed by lines that represent text.

Use the equivalent of a new paragraph (e.g., hit Enter or Return on a keyboard) to add an item to a list.

If you have already entered text in the editor from which you want to create a list, select the text, then select the Insert/Remove Numbered List button.

How do I create a bulleted list?

Create a numbered or bulleted list.

To create a bulleted list in the Rich-Text Editor, select the Insert/Remove Bulleted List button.  This button has a picture of two bullets, each followed by lines that represent text.

Use the equivalent of a new paragraph (e.g., hit Enter or Return on a keyboard) to add an item to a list.

If you have already entered text in the editor from which you want to create a list, select the text, then select the Insert/Remove Bulleted List button.