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5 Free Must Have Web Accessibility Testing Tools

7 October, 2020 by Anil Kumar

a laptop, magnifying glass, mobile phone and a notepad on a desk, text written must have web accessibility testing tools

In today’s COVID times, all our day-to-day activities have moved online. The need to make the solutions accessible is increasing as more and more activities are moving online. In this post, we will learn about 5 free accessibility testing tools that will help to create accessible web experiences!

Testing your product or websites to check accessibility helps developers and testers to provide accessible services to the end users. To test if your websites are accessible or not, several accessibility testing tools are available that helps in identifying elements with accessibility errors and warnings for potential errors.

Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE)

  • WAVE is a tool developed by WebAim for evaluating accessibility of web content.
  • WAVE is available at https://wave.webaim.org/ and also can be accessed as an Browser extension for Firefox and Chrome.
  • WAVE checks for errors based on WCAG 2.1 Level AA and Section 508.
  • Wave evaluates single page at a time.
  • WAVE helps in identifying the errors related to Headings, Links, Images, Forms, ARIA, Color contrast, structural in detailed and short summary format.
  • The results are displayed in the left pane in different section such as Summary, Details, Reference, Structure and Contrast.

Screenshot of Wave extension running on a BarrierBreak web page.

  • Some of key features of WAVE includes:
    • Wave tool annotates errors inline on your page which allows you to identify which element have errors. Different sets of icons are added on the page to easily identify errors and warnings on webpage.
    • We can view the code simultaneously while checking accessibility errors.

Color Contrast Analyser (CCA)

  • The Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) is a desktop based tool developed by THEPACIELLOGROUP (TPG) available for Windows and MAC OS.
  • CCA checks for color contrast errors based on WCAG 2.1 Level AA and AAA.
  • CCA helps to check the contrast using the WCAG contrast requirements which are as follows:
    • Standard text (Contrast ratio 4.5:1)
    • Large text (Contrast ratio 3.0:1)
    • 18pt or higher with non-bold font
    • 14pt or higher with bold font

Screenshot of Color Contrast Analyzer Main window.

  • Some of key features of CCA includes:
    • Value of Color can be set either by using color picker, hex codes or RGB values.
    • Based on the value of colour it displays the contrast ratio and display the results as per WCAG Level AA and AAA.
    • Tool also offers color blindness simulation that helps to understand how specific colour combinations will be viewed by people with Monochromacy, Dichromacy and Trichromacy.
  • Screenshot of Colour Contrast Analyser's colour blindness simulation window.

    Accessible Name & Description Inspector

    • ANDI is a browser based bookmarklet for desktop used for testing accessibility of web content.
    • ANDI checks for errors based on WCAG 2.1 and Section 508.
    • The results are presented based on different areas of accessibility in Page Analysis section.
    • Results covers Element highlights, Accessibility Component and ANDI output which can be viewed as soon as user hover with mouse or use hotkeys with keyboard to check different content on the page.

    Screenshot of ANDI bookmarklet applied on ANDI's tool help page displaying Structure of the page.

    • Some of key features of ANDI includes:
      • ANDI checks for focusable element, color contrast, heading structure, tables, iframes, hidden element, tabbing order and many more.
      • ANDI tool reveals how a screen reader will read out the interactive elements.

    ARC Toolkit

    • ARC toolkit is an accessibility testing tool developed by THEPACIELLOGROUP (TPG).
    • It is browser based extension available only for Chrome on Windows.
    • ARC toolkit checks for errors based on WCAG 2.1 Level AA.
    • Accessibility of a single page can be evaluated using the ARC toolkit at any given time.
    • ARC toolkit gets added in the browser’s DevTools tab bar.
    • Results are segregated based on page elements such as images, headings, tables, etc.

    Screenshot of ARC Toolkit.

    • Some of key features of ARC includes:
      • Test results summary are displayed in the left pane i.e. elements pane.
      • The right pane i.e. Results pane displays results for individual elements.
      • Users can explore the results by selecting an element in the table to view the representation on the web page. It is indicated by and a red dashed outline and supporting text.
      • The results pane shows the related code, short description and recommendation.
      • Accessibility issues found are segregated as Error and Warnings.
      • The toolkit has an additional feature to check page reflow and text spacing by selecting checkbox available in the elements pane.

    Accessibility Insight

    • Accessibility insight is a tool used for performing accessibility testing on webpages, web applications and Android application.
    • Accessibility Insight is available as following extension and tools:
    • Chrome and Edge Browser extension to test webpages and web applications.
    • Windows Desktop tool to test web applications.
    • Windows, MacOS and Linux desktop tool to test Android application.
    • Accessibility Insight checks for errors based on WCAG 2.1 Level AA.

    Screenshot of Accessibility Insight tool with FastPass test selected for About us page of Barrierbreak.

    • Some of key features of Accessibility insight includes:
      • The tool supports two types of test which is FastPass and Assessment.
      • FastPass is a lightweight two step process which includes Automated checks such as any missing or invalid properties and Tabs stop technique.
      • Automated checks detect some of the common accessibility problems in a web page and web based application quickly keeping in mind the 50 Success criteria.
      • Tab stops provides visual helper and clear instructions that makes it easy to identify issues related to keyboard access such support missing, keyboard traps and incorrect tab order.
      • Assessment includes automated checks and manual tests.
      • In case of automated checks, the tool automatically checks for 50 Success criteria to make the web page compliant with WCAG 2.1 Level AA.
      • In context with manual tests the tool provides visual helper or identifies test instances for users to proceed further.

    The above mentioned automated testing tools will help you get kickstarted with the accessibility testing of your product. The test results generated by these tools must be verified manually by accessibility consultants and also get the product tested for accessibility by end users i.e. people with different types of disabilities. This will ensure that your product caters to the needs of all users.

    Have a product that you would like to get tested for accessibility?

    Drop a line to us at sales@barrierbreak.com and we will be happy to connect!

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