Web Accessibility Tools
Some suggested tools, tutorials, and simulations to help you make your web pages accessible. It must be stressed that no program or tool can insure accessibility or intuit the needs of a user. These tools serve merely as a starting point to assist in achieving universal usability.
Accessibility Assessment Tools
- Bobby is a service provided by Watchfire to help web page authors identify accessibility problems in their pages. It is available as a free online service (one page at a time) or as a downloadable application.
- Cynthia Says
- Cynthia Says is very similar to the above Bobby program, but more succinct and user-friendly. The online test only validates one page at a time, and about one (1) page per minute / per site.
- Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility with Firefox
- Patrick H. Lauke outlines how Mozilla Firefox can be used in conjunction with the Web Developer Toolbar to carry out a preliminary accessibility review.
- WAVE (Web Accessibility Versatile Evaluator), is a web-based application developed at The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University and available through the Web Accessibility In Mind organization. It is similar to Bobby, but its output centers on a graphical report, rather than a text report of the page's HTML source. It also identifies the reading order of all the elements on the page, which is useful for assessing the underlying structure of a web page.
Accessibility Repair Tools
- A-Prompt is a free Windows software application that allows developers to “wizard” over pages they have created and assess and fix problems as they go. When A-Prompt detects a problem, it prompts the user and guides her or him through the fix. It also has a number of automated fixes that speed up the process of repair. A-Prompt was developed by the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC) at the University of Toronto in collaboration with the TRACE Center.
Format Conversion Tools
- HTML TIDY
- HTML TIDY is a free utility for making HTML source more readable and more correct. In addition to a variety of other features, including the ability to convert HTML formatting elements to CSS code and convert HTML to XHTML, HTML TIDY helps clean up hard to read and poorly generated HTML source from WYSIWYG editors and can help you identify potential accessibility problems.
- Adobe PDF Document Converters
- These online tools convert PDF documents into either HTML or plain text, which can then be read by a number of common screen reader programs. These tools approximate the logical reading order of the text in an Adobe PDF document and reformat it into a single column of text. Note: conversion will not work with all PDF documents — be sure to verify that your HTML or text versions are complete and correct.
- PowerPoint Slides
- Short tutorial on methods for posting accessible PowerPoint content to the Web. Includes a link to and information about a free PowerPoint plug-in to help make accessible online presentations.
- Media Access Generator (MAGpie)
- MAGpie is a free tool to help multimedia developers add captioning and audio description to their multimedia presentations. MAGpie version 1.0, available for Windows, supports Apple's QuickTime, the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL), and Microsoft's Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI). MAGpie 2.01 is a Java 2 application which runs on Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP and on Mac OSX
- W3C HTML Validation Service
- Checks HTML documents for conformance to World Wide Web Consortium HTML and XHTML recommendations and other HTML standards.
- W3C CSS Validation Service
- Checks for conformance with Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 standards.
- WebAIM Screen Reader Simulation
- This simulation will help demonstrate what it is like for a person with a visual impairment to access the Internet using screen reading software.
- WebAIM Low Vision Disability Simulation
- This simulation provides an opportunity for users to experience a web page as someone with a visual impairment might see it. Visual impairments simulated include macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.
- Colorblind Web Page Filter
- to see how your web page appears to users with seven different types of colorblindness, as well as several other colorblindness and accessibility color filters.
- Juicy Studio Colour Contrast Analyser
- Allows you to check the contrast of two colors using the W3C's color contrast algorithm by specifying the colors directly.
- A Mozilla Firefox extension to emulate screen reader output. Fangs creates a textual representation of a web page similar to how the page would be read by one of the modern body-part named screen readers. Right-clicking a page and selecting Fangs from the Firefox context menu will open a popup window with the text representation of the page.
- Vischeck Color Blindness Simulation
- Vischeck simulates some kinds of colorblindness. Note: Vischeck is not a good example of an accessible web site.
Special thanks to Richard Cox, UNCG Library Webmaster, for creating this Web Accessbility Tools List.