Web Accessibility Testing Tools

(This section is oriented to tools that focus on web site accessibility; note that other web testing tools sometimes include accessibility testing capabilities along with their other testing capabilities.)

Tenon – A web-based app and API from Tenon LLC that facilitates accessibility testing of web-based products and services. Tests are performaned via the API which can be integrated into your existing toolset/workflows – whichever IDE you use, or CMS you use, or automated build and deploy tool you use, or what you use for unit testing, acceptance testing, or issue tracking. Enables catching and fixing accessibility issues before they happen, not after, and allows you to release accessible code from the beginning. API can test using Document Source or URL. Based on WCAG 2.0 & Section 508.

Accessibility Developer Tools – Chrome extension from Google adds an Accessibility audit, and an Accessibility sidebar pane in the Elements tab, to Chrome Developer Tools. Audit results will appear as a list of rules which are violated by the page (if any), with one or more elements on the page shown as a result for each rule.

Readability Test Tool – Free online site readability test by David Simpson – just enter a URL, or directly enter text. Provides a score for the most used readability indicators: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman Liau Index, Automated Readability. Index (ARI). Results include explanations of each item. Relates to Guideline 3.1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

Readability Test – Free online test tool from JuicyStudio – enter URL and site will assess readability based on Gunning Fog, Flesch Reading Ease, and Flesch-Kincaid reading level algorithms.

Image Analyzer – Free online test tool from JuicyStudio – enter URL and site will assess image width, height, alt, and longdesc attributes for appropriate values.

CynthiaSays Portal – Free web content accessibility/508 validation tool; checks one page at a time. Designed to identify errors in content related to Section 508 standards and/or the WCAG guidelines. The HiSoftware CynthiaSays portal is a joint Education and Outreach project of HiSoftware, ICDRI, and the Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter.

WAVE – Free web accessibility evaluation online tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid humans in the 508 web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility of that page. Also available is the WAVE Firefox toolbar allowing evaluation of web pages directly within your browser.

Color Contrast Analyzer – Free downloadable tool from the Paciallo Group to help determine the legibility of text on a web page and the legibility of image based representations of text, can be used as a part of web accessibility testing. It is primarily a tool for checking foreground and background colour combinations to determine if they provide good colour visibility. It also contains functionality to create simulations of certain visual conditions such as colour blindness. Determining “colour visibility” is based on the Contrast Ratio algorithm, suggested by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to help determine whether or not the contrast between two colours can be read by people with colour blindness or other visual impairments. For Win and Mac platforms.

CheckMyColours – Free online tool by Giovanni Scala for checking foreground and background color combinations of a page’s DOM elements and determining if they provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having visual color deficits. Based on algorithms suggested by the W3C.

Color Oracle – Free downloadable tool from Bernhard Jenny – color blindness simulator for Window, Mac and Linux. Shows in real time what people with common color vision impairments will see. Applies a full screen color filter to visuals you are designing – independently of the software in use.

JAWS – Screen reading software from Freedom Scientific; for Win platforms. Can be used for Web 508 accessibility testing.

NVDA – NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open source screen reader for win platforms developed by NV Access. Support for over 20 languages and the ability to run entirely from a USB drive with no installation. Can be used for 508 accessibility testing.

PDF Accessiblity Checker – Downloadable freeware app assists in checking for problems with PDF files on the web, from Access for All, a Swiss non-profit. PDF docs on the web often present challenges for the visually impaired. Supports both experts as well as end users conducting accessibility evaluations. Based on the Matterhorn Protocol (for PDF) which utilizes a collection of Checkpoints and Failure Conditions for accessibility assessments. For Win platforms.

Deque – Deque Ramp is a cross-platform solution for testing and remediating websites and Web-based applications for integrated accessibility and Section 508 compliance. Audits and corrects accessibility violations and helps organizations develop long-term practices to enhance accessibility for users with disabilities. Available versions include Ramp Personal Edition, Ramp Grade, and Ramp Ascend. Ramp PE version is free for some user categories such as non-profit organizations. Other products include Worldspace Online, an online accessibility test and repair tool.