Accessibility Testing Tools (Definition, Types And Examples)
Updated 30 September 2022
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Equality of opportunity helps eliminate inequality and safeguards human rights. All individuals can communicate properly and improve their quality of life when the surrounding environment is easily accessible to them and they have access to information online or through software. Learning more about equality of opportunity may not only help you in a rewarding career in technology but may also allow you to contribute to society. In this article, we discuss technologies that test the accessibility of online apps and websites, explore the different types available and provide a useful list of these tools.
What are Accessibility Testing Tools?
Accessibility testing tools are technologies that help determine whether a website or a software program is equally accessible to everyone. Accessibility is the practice of making a web and mobile app accessible to as many users as possible. It allows people with disabilities, such as vision and hearing impairments or other cognitive and functional barriers, to use the app. It also checks whether people with limited knowledge of or access to computers and internet can use the software program or website.
People who use outdated equipment and live in areas with poor communication infrastructure may still require access to web applications and equipment. These tools ensure that people with any kind of impairment, whether temporary or permanent, can use an organisation's products and services, especially those relating to computers. They help organisations comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed for the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). WCAG provides rules that outline how to test a system's accessibility, particularly for individuals with impairments.
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Types of accessibility software
People with disabilities may use assistive technology to help them access software products. Here are a few examples of the different types of software available:
Special keyboard software: This benefits people with motor control issues.
Screen magnification software: This increases the monitor and make reading easier for individuals with low vision.
Screen reader software: This narrates the content on the screen.
Speech recognition software: This helps convert speech into text.
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Examples of accessibility testing tools
Here are a few examples of accessibility testing software:
1. Accessibility Viewer
Accessibility Viewer (aViewer) is a web-based free licence software program that TPGi provides. It is a Windows inspection tool that provides the operating system with the accessibility API information that web browsers display. The program helps by presenting information within websites and evaluating single web pages automatically. It supports hypertext markup language (HTML), multi-sample anti-aliasing (MSAA), IAccessible2, UI automation (UIA), HTML document object model (DOM) and accessible rich internet applications (ARIA).
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2. CKSource Accessibility Checker
The CKSource Accessibility Checker is an open-source tool that allows users to evaluate the web accessibility level of content using the CKEditor application and then fix any detected issues. It provides step-by-step instructions for testing online accessibility data and displays them within the actual web pages. The application can also alter the appearance of web pages when necessary. It tests single web pages automatically and supports HTML and extensible hypertext markup language (XHTML) formats.
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3. COMPLYFirst Professional
COMPLYFirst Professional is a desktop application that does not require a server. It offers automated and manual DOM interface web accessibility testing, along with reports and remedial code samples for management and quality assurance (QA) analysts. The Odellus Corporation developed the tool and provides training sessions and an assessment of a site's current web accessibility.
The software creates assessment results, provides step-by-step testing assistance, displays results and information on the page and changes the appearance of web pages. It automatically scans individual pages, websites and collections of pages, even those with password-protected or restricted pages. It supports cascading style sheets (CSS), HTML, XHTML, portable document formats (PDFs) and images.
PowerMapper developed the SortSite evaluation tool that allows web developers and users to evaluate the web accessibility of single pages and complete websites, even those with restricted access and passwords. The tool supports accessibility testing and delivers evaluation results in the form of reports. SortSite supports CSS, HTML, XHTML and PDF documents and images and is compatible with multiple operating systems. The program uses both internal and external firewalls, along with intranets and development sites.
Tenon is an online accessibility software that is famous for providing designers with numerous options for evaluating a site's accessibility. Tenon gives developers, designers, content providers and software testers more flexibility in their workflow. It uses an application programming interface (API), which allows its incorporation into the existing toolkit.
Tenon provides support by generating assessment reports and automatically checking single online pages, groups of web pages or entire websites, along with password-protected or restricted pages. The supported reporting formats include HTML, extensible markup language (XML) and comma-separated values (CSV). Tenon is a web-based service that includes an online checker, a hosted service and a server setup. Commercial, corporate and personal licences are available.
FireEyes combines with Firebug and allows QA engineers, developers and subject matter experts to test their site for web accessibility compliance. It is an online testing tool that provides server installation and hosted services. Some of its most important features are screen reader simulation, colour contrast analysis and dynamic HTML (DHTML) page support. It is available as a Firefox and Internet Explorer 9 plugin. It supports CSS, HTML, XHTML, CSV and PDF.
7. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
The Adobe Acrobat Document Cloud (DC) accessibility checking tool can help effectively manage crucial documents. The current subscription version includes several updates, including a new collaborative PDF review service that makes it easier to collect input from reviewers and monitor responses. Acrobat Pro DC also allows legally binding e-signatures. Its features include an upgraded home screen, document viewer, tools sidebar and commenting options for all devices, such as smartphones, cloud systems and desktops.
8. Elsevier Accessibility Checklist
The Elsevier Accessibility Checklist is a free tool that helps users review the most recent and relevant web accessibility regulations. Its user interface is easy to navigate, and the checklist provides a simple language structure. The sorting of the regulations and protocol can be by topic, including the keyboard, pictures and forms. The accessibility checklist provides a step-by-step review of a site's web accessibility. It supports CSS, HTML, XHTML and image file formats.
Remediate.co offers automatic digital accessibility testing for webpages, online applications and PDFs and adheres to the WCAG guidelines at all levels of compliance. Remediate.co's custom form authentication allows for the testing of private websites or web applications on a login page. It requires no installation and is compatible with several multi-factor authentication mechanisms. It generally includes white labelling, single sign-on (SSO) and scheduling with an unlimited number of users and projects.
10. ACTF aDesigner
Eclipse powers ACTF aDesigner, a well-known disability simulator that tests a website's ease of access for vision-impaired visitors. With the combined application of a voice browser and screen reader, the text on a web page is easy to read. This program verifies that flash content and open document format (ODF) files are accessible.
11. Cynthia Says
Cynthia Says is a tool that helps users find accessibility compliance issues on their site by allowing them to test specific pages on its portal. It then delivers comments clearly for professionals in non-technical roles. Cynthia Says is part of Cryptzone, ICDRI and the Internet Society Disability and Special Needs Chapter's cooperative education and outreach effort to educate people about website accessibility. It is an online checker and free software that supports CSS and HTML formats.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
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