Here at TPG Interactive (TPGi) we have a technical web accessibility testing process which does not involve the use of automated testing tools. The technical audit results we provide to our clients are based solely on manual testing of a web site, web application, mobile or desktop application.
Typically, but not solely, we conduct technical testing in reference to the following web accessibility standards:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (web sites and web applications and other ICT)
- Section 508 1194.21- Software Applications and Operating Systems (desktop applications and web applications)
- Section 508 1194.22 – Web-based Intranet and Internet Information and Applications (web sites and web applications)
- Section 508 Refresh Standards (Formal title: Draft Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines).
To aid us in our manual testing process we use a number of website accessibility tools and assistive technologies, the following is not a complete list of the tools we use, but these are the tools I currently use on a daily basis:
Web Accessibility Testing Tools
- The Web Accessibility Toolbar (free add on for Internet Explorer)
- The Color Contrast Analyser (free desktop application for windows and Mac)
- aViewer (free desktop application for windows )
- W3C Nu markup HTML conformance checker
- Firebug (free Firefox extension)
- Dom Inspector (free Firefox extension)
- Accprobe (free open source desktop application)
- Accessibility Inspector (free Mac appplication)
- UI Browser (NOT free Mac appplication)
- JAWS (Screen Reader for windows, demo version available)
- NVDA (Free open source Screen Reader for windows)
- VoiceOver (Built in Screen Reader, Mac desktop and iPhone/iPod)
- ChromeVox (screen reader for Chrome and Chrome OS)
- Talkback (screen reader for Android)
- Zoomtext (Screen Magnifier for windows, demo version available)
More Web Accessibility Tools
I asked around the TPGi virtual office (Skype group chat) and people recommended some more notable and useful web accessibility evaluation tools:
- ARC (ARC Platform is an API-first technology that provides real-time accessibility testing of webpages. Easily identify accessibility issues.)
- aDesigner (free open source desktop application)
- Juicy Studio Tools (free online tools and Firefox extensions)
- Juicy Studio Accessibility Toolbar (free Firefox extension)
- Colour Contrast Analyser (free Firefox extension)
- Accessibility Evaluation Toolbar (free Firefox extension)
- Wave Toolbar (free Firefox extension)
- Web Developer (free Firefox extension)
- Dragon (speech recognition software)
- Accessibility Developer Tools (for Chrome)
- iOS Simulator
- Jim Thatchers Favelets
- ARIA validator (for chrome)
- Quail (Accessibility testing in the browser and on the server)
- We do not use assistive technology in our technical testing to carry out user testing, we leave that up to actual users of assistive technology, who we work with as part of our user research and usability testing services. But as technical testers we do use assistive technology to evaluate the data we gather. Assistive technology is an essential part of the process for understanding how the accessibility information provided in user interfaces is conveyed to users.
- The tools listed above are only the tools I use regularly, other accessibility engineers at TPGi may use other tools.
Thanks for this list! Some gems here that I hadn’t heard about before.
As a side note, WAVE toolbar was released for Chrome this past week and has already been extremely valuable in my evaluations.
You are missing one big group of disabled people. Folks using speech recognition. On the other hand, this could be a good thing because we don’t want the user interface as much the toolkit for building our own user interfaces that fit our workflows.
Dragon speech recognition software is included in the more tools list, are there other tools you can suggest?