In this unit and the next, we will move from the general overview to look more closely at the necessary tools and strategies for assessing the accessibility of web content. Specifically, we will examine:
- Automated web accessibility testing tools (i.e., accessibility checkers)
- Tools for evaluating colour contrast, validating HTML markup, and determining the reading level of web content
- Assistive technologies (AT)
- Manual testing strategies
Building on the general understanding of automated review tools introduced in the unit Aspects of Web Accessibility Auditing, this unit focuses on a few specific tools that you will want to add to your toolkit. We won’t cover all the potential tools you might use, but rather focus on learning how to use some of the popular tools. Feel free to explore beyond those introduced here.
The first group of tools we will look at are automated accessibility checkers. These are typically web-based tools that take a URL or a copied HTML page, scan through the HTML and run a variety of tests to determine the presence or absence of accessibility features. We will look at:
- AChecker, developed at the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University in Toronto
- The WAVE Accessibility Evaluation Tool, developed by the WebAIM group at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University
We’ll list a few others too, that you may want to investigate on your own.
After familiarizing yourself with the automated accessibility testing tools, we’ll look at a few other automated tools for:
- Testing colour contrast
- Evaluating reading level
- Validating HTML markup