Section 4: Web Site Accessibility Tools - Reference Charts, Evaluation, Repair, and Transformation Tools, and More
There are an increasing number of choices for accessibility tools that can help evaluate, repair, and check your Web site's accessibility. Some listed below are free, some require purchase, and some are available as online services.
It's important to remember that none of these tools can take care of everything, as human intervention is still needed; however, they can be invaluable in helping to evaluate, repair, and check your Web site.
See also validating tools under HTML Validating Tools and CSS Validating Tools, and the Color Deficiency Simulators and Related Testing Tools.
Do you know of some good Web site accessibility tools, articles, tutorials, tips, Web sites, books, or other resources related to Web site accessibility? Recommendations are welcome and encouraged!
On this page:
Accessibility-Related Reference Charts
- Accesskeys and Reserved Keystroke Combinations
A helpful reference chart that illustrates the number of keystroke combinations that would conflict with implementation of the
ACCESSKEYfunctionality introduced in HTML 4.0. [Article/tutorial updated 06/2005, by WATS.ca.]
- Navigation Quick Keys for JAWS
Navigation Quick Keys for JAWS help Web page navigation. Here's a chart provided by JAWS makers, Freedom Scientific. [Chart by Freedom Scientific.]
- Working with JAWS: Keystroke Quick Reference Chart
Helpful keystroke chart and insight about JAWS. [Article/tutorial updated 06/2005, by WATS.ca.]
Free Online or Downloadable Accessibility Tools
Some of these tools are free to download and use, whether online or via download, and some of these tools are also commercial products but offer a free online service to check a limited number of pages.
See also WebsiteTips.com's section:
- A-Prompt Toolkit
Based on W3C's WAI Guidelines and W3C Recommendations, this Web Accessibility Verifier software tool evaluates Web pages for accessibility barriers and provides developers with fast and easy ways to make necessary repairs. Available free of charge due to generous sponsorships. Developed by a team at the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University Of Toronto.
- Adobe PDF Access Utility
This utility provides readability for non-visual readers by converting PDF documents to HTML or ASCII format for readability by screen reading programs. Available to instantly convert PDF files online (generates it on the fly), send the converted document to you via email, or you can download the free Adobe Acrobat Access utility for use on your own computer with or without a browser. [Adobe.com]
- CSE HTML Validator
Check your pages free online using the popular CSE HTML Validator that includes validating for 508 Guidelines. CSE HTML Validator is also available as a commercial product in several versions depending on your needs.
- JAWS® for Windows
The popular screen reading software. You can download a trial version to use for testing. [Software by Freedom Scientific.]
- Lynx Viewer
A free online Lynx simulator tool to view your Web pages as they would be viewed in the Lynx text-only browser. [Via DJ Delorie.]
- The WAVE Accessibility Checker
Free online tool that checks for accessibility based on W3C Guidelines and new version will also check Section 508 compliance. Works similar to Bobby. Funded by Pennsylvania's Initiative on Assistive Technology (PIAT).
Commercial Accessibility Evaluation, Repair, and Transformation Tools
- CSE HTML Validator
The popular CSE HTML Validator now includes validating for 508 Guidelines, along with WCAG, and a W3C Recommendations “standards” mode validation. Integrates with many programs, including Macromedia HomeSite, Macromedia Dreamweaver, Bradsoft TopStyle, and others, and also acts as a stand-alone program. Highly recommended by WebsiteTips.com. Fantastic program.
- HiSoftware Developers Desktop Solutions
Provides verification and reports all errors and noncompliance for Section 508 and WCAG 1.0. Repair files with their AccRepair, AccVerify, and more accessibility tools.
By SSB Technologies. Highly regarded program that checks and fixes websites for Section 508 compliance. Will also work with several WYSIWYG authoring tools, including Microsoft FrontPage, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and Adobe GoLive.
Reviews of Accessibility, Section 508 Audit/Edit Tools
To help you become familiar with accessibility tools and Section 508 tools and figure out which tools might be best for your purposes, here are some links to reviews that are a great place to start.
- A Review of Free, Online Accessibility Tools
by Peter Blair for WebAIM, February 2004. Peter's insightful and helpful review explains characteristics of evaluation tools, problems with automated tools, and the need for human judgement. He reviews Accessibility Valet Demonstrator (WebThing), AccMonitor Online (HiSoftware), Bobby Online Service (Watchfire), Cynthia Says (HiSoftware), TAW (Sidar in Spanish), Torquemada (WebxTutti in English and Italian), Wave 3.5 (WebAIM), and WebXact (Watchfire). [By Peter Blair for WebAIM, February 2004.]
- Check Sites for 508 with Audit-eEdit tools
Review and comparison guide of 6 audit-edit products, including PageScreamer, 508 Accessibility Suite for Dreamweaver and UltraDev, InSight/InFocus 508. By Steve Graves, Government Computer News.
Listings, Resources to Accessibility Evaluation, Repair, and Transformation Tools
- Evaluation, Repair, and Transformation Tools for Web Content Accessibility
W3C's listing of current evaluation, repair and transformation tools to help meet WAI Guidelines. Some also include Section 508 guidelines.
- Testing Tools for Developing Accessible Web Sites
Helpful testing tools collected and provided by WATS.ca. [Tools, Resources by WATS.ca.]
- Tools and Utilities
Great list provided by members of GAWDS (Guild of Accessible Web Designers) [Web site: Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS).]