Accessibility aids and tools
Accessibility aids and tools are useful for preliminary checking of your web resources. However, except for NVDA which is an accessibility aid, software tools can only identify possible technical issues and should not be relied on to find all accessibility issues.
An expert human accessibility auditor, following a rigorous WCAG 2.1 testing regimen, is necessary to identify all problems, including both technical and user issues.
NVDA Screen Reader for Windows
The NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) is a free and open-source screen reader operating on the Microsoft Windows operating system. NVDA enables people with vision impairments to use any computer operating Windows for no cost. You can obtain support in different languages and customize the voice.
There is a feature to load it on a USB drive and take it with you to work or school, or you can just install it on your computer at home for your use. You can also install it on all the computers at your workplace and encourage your staff to learn how to use a screen reader to learn how people with vision impairments use the Internet.
Web Key IT encourages you to try NVDA - even if you don't have a vision impairment. The help features are all on the installation and they have a support page on their website. You might like to get involved in this great project.
PowerMapper - Sort Site checker
SortSite is a one-click website testing tool used by federal agencies, Fortune 100 corporations, and independent consultancies. The tool is available as a desktop application for Mac or Windows and is also available as a web application.
Visit PowerMapper for more information, free trial and a free sample trial online.
Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) from the Paciello Group
The Color Contrast Analyser (CCA) helps you determine the legibility of text and the contrast of visual elements, such as graphical controls and visual indicators. It is available for PC and Mac.
Visit the Paciello Group CCA site for more information and downloads.
WAVE by WebAIM
WAVE is a tool to help web developers make their web content more accessible. WAVE cannot tell you if your web content is accessible. Only a human can determine true accessibility. But WAVE can help you evaluate the accessibility of your web content.
WAVE is available as an extension for Firefox and Chrome. Websites can also be checked using the online version of WAVE.
Visit WebAIM's help page about WAVE for more information
PDF Accessibility Checker
PDF Accessibility Checker also known as PAC was initially released in 2010 and was the first automated PDF/UA compliance validation tool. Having had three previous versions before PAC 2021, PAC is designed to easily identify all of the machine verifiable success criterion of ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA) and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
It's a tool that brings attention and understanding to how color contrast can affect different people with visual impairment.
My Vision's Guide
A challenge for millions of people with a visual impairment is how they can effectively use the internet for e-learning, shopping, remote working, business, and other key aspects of their everyday living. My Vision published a guide on internet accessibility for the blind and impaired, that covers topics such as:
- What are web content accessibility guidelines?
- What vision conditions can cause people to struggle using the internet?
- Tips for easier internet browsing
- Accessories that can help those with low vision
- Why it matters, and more.
Check out My Vision's Accessibility Guide
Web Developer Extension
The Web Developer extension adds various web developer tools to a browser. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera, and will run on any platform that these browsers support including Windows, macOS and Linux.
Created by TPGi, the ARC Toolkit is a set of accessibility tools which aids developers in identifying accessibility problems and features for WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, EN 301 549, and Section 508
The toolkit is designed to be integrated into automated and manual accessibility tests and works alongside the auditor or developer in order to simplify repetitive tasks and interactively explore accessibility features and problems. The ARC Toolkit is tightly integrated with Chrome’s Developer Tools and uses the ARC rule set, the same rules used by default in the ARC platform. This allows developers and quality assurance testers to take their ARC testing into their development environments and thoroughly investigate issues raised in ARC scans. It has two components.