10 Accessibility Checkers & Tools For Beginners to Experts
Building accessibility into websites, documents, videos, and course materials is no easy task. Luckily, there are a variety of accessibility checkers and tools to help you stay on track.
Most of these accessibility checkers are free to use and solve a variety of accessibility issues. Some are for specific items such as websites or PDFs, some are specifically for developers, and others are more general WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 checkers that anyone can use.
It is important to note that while these checkers are very useful, you should still have people with disabilities test your content determine the true level of accessibility.
WAVE is a free tool made by WebAIM (Web Accessibility In Mind) to help developers make their web content more accessible. WAVE presents your page with embedded icons and indicators. Each icon, box, and piece of information added by WAVE presents some information about the accessibility of your page.
While WAVE is most effective when used by someone knowledgeable about web accessibility, people who are not web accessibility experts can also benefit from WAVE.
AChecker is used to evaluate HTML content for accessibility problems by entering the location of a web page, uploading an HTML file, or by pasting the complete HTML source code from a Web page.
AChecker produces a report of all accessibility problems for your selected guidelines. It identifies 3 types of problems:
- Known problems: These are problems that have been identified with certainty as accessibility barriers. You must modify your page to fix these problems;
- Likely problems: These are problems that have been identified as probable barriers, but require a human to make a decision. You will likely need to modify your page to fix these problems;
- Potential problems: These are problems that AChecker cannot identify, that require a human decision. You may have to modify your page for these problems, but in many cases, you will just need to confirm that the problem described is not present.
3. SortSite Accessibility Checker and Validator
- WCAG 2.0 – 118 tests covering A, AA and AAA guidelines
- WCAG 1.0 – 86 tests covering A, AA and AAA guidelines
- Section 508 – 55 tests covering 15 guidelines
4. UDOIT: Universal Design Online Inspection Tool
UDOIT (pronounced, “You Do It”) enables faculty to identify accessibility issues in Webcourses@UCF. It will scan a course, generate a report, and provide resources on how to address common accessibility issues.
While UDOIT was developed for faculty at UCF, the source code is available to the public under the GPL V3 open source license. You can download the source code at UDOIT’s GitHub page. This means UDOIT is free for use not only at UCF but also at any institution that uses Canvas by Instructure.
5. Document Accessibility Toolbar (DAT)
DAT is a dedicated accessibility ribbon menu for Microsoft Word that makes it quicker and easier to create accessible documents. It is free to download and features a range of hand-picked and custom-built functions to optimize and validate a document for accessibility.
6. CommonLook PDF Accessibility Software
CommonLook offers a variety of accessibility checkers and programs for developers, authors, and testers to use.
- CommonLook PDF Validator: completely tests a document against Section 508, WCAG 2.0 AA, PDF/UA, and HHS (U.S. Health and Human Services) standards. Download for free here.
- CommonLook Office GlobalAccess makes it easy to create accessible PDF documents directly from Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. Learn more here. Request Trial here.
- CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess is ideal for businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, and other enterprises and individuals that need to ensure their PDF files are accessible and conform to compliance standards such as WCAG 2.0 and Section 508. Learn more here. Request more info here.
- CommonLook Clarity GlobalAccess provides a comprehensive enterprise-wide solution for monitoring compliance with accessibility standards. Learn more here.
- CommonLook Dynamic gives enterprise organizations a customizable solution for ensuring that dynamically generated documents are accessible and meet compliance requirements. Learn more here.
7. Accessibility Color Wheel
The Accessibility Color Wheel is a free online tool that helps you choose a color pair (text & background) to use on a web page. It simulates three kinds of color blindness and it shows the result of W3C algorithms that reveal if the colors are accessible.
Tenon.io offers a free online web page checker, a Google Chrome extension, and a comprehensive API that can be integrated with your existing toolset. Tenon identifies 508 and WCAG 2.0 issues in any environment and helps you correct them.
9. Automated Accessibility Testing Tool (AATT)
AATT is an open source accessibility checker that tests web applications for WCAG 2.0 conformance. AATT provides an accessibility API and custom web application for the HTML CodeSniffer, Axe and Chrome developer tools. Using the AATT web application, you can configure test server configurations inside the firewall, and test individual pages.
AATT includes with Express and PhantomJS, which runs on Node.
For node applications, it can be integrated into NemoJS testing framework to run accessibility testing during automated unit testing. For Nemo framework use [Nemo-Accessibility plugin] (https://github.com/paypal/nemo-accessibility)
10. DYNO Mapper
DYNO Mapper is a visual sitemap generator that offers accessibility testing. It will evaluate a website’s HTML content for existing accessibility problems by testing against published guidelines. The web accessibility tool displays known, likely, and potential problems by page. Review each page’s web accessibility problems to isolate and resolve to provide persons with disabilities a great user experience.
No matter what industry you are in, these tools will help you ensure you are meeting WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 accessibility requirements. For information on who these laws apply to, check out our ebook: