Tools for Accessibility Testing

Most of the tools mentioned in this post are tools I have used to aid accessibility testing.

A couple, the Orca screen reader for Ubuntu and the Firefox Accessibility Evaluation Toolbar, are tools that I intend to look into for possible future use.

Some tools provide similar functionality but are only available for certain browsers or operating systems.

Colour Contrast

Screen Readers

  • NVDA – free screen reader available for Windows
  • Orca – screen reader software for use in Ubuntu
  • VoiceOver – screen reading technology integrated in Mac OS X
  • Fangs screen reader emulator Firefox addon – renders a text version of a web page similar to the version that would be presented to screen readers

Headings and Document Structure

Headings and how they present the document outline to assistive devices is covered another post on headings and document outline.

I found the following tools useful for checking the document structure and outline:

  • HTML5 Outliner Chrome extension – useful to display the document structure through the document headings.
  • Webaim WAVE Toolbar for Firefox – has a variety of buttons to view the actual document structure as text only, removing styles and by heading. The toolbar can also provide a summary of accessibility errors within a page.

Code Examination

Accessibility Standards Compliance

  • W3C validator – to check for standards compliant HTML
  • The Accessibility Evaluation Toolbar is one I have not used too much but appears to have some useful functionality. I will explore the functionality and update.
  • The web accessibility checker aChecker checks single pages for accessibility standards conformance.

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