Accessibility websites and online tools

My research for accessibility in terms of users with cognitive disabilities for a university project included looking at various available testing tools. I spoke with digital companies and professionals about what tools they use; and sourced information on all the tools available. Instead of just reading about it, I also used all the tools found on websites I had created and current online sites. Tools and guidance online help with creating accessible websites more quickly because you are able to view the errors straight away whilst also understanding what may be missing on the current design/development.

The list below includes the main accessibility guidance and tools I used to build a website for people with cognitive disabilities; however, it does cross over with hearing and sight impairments:

  • W3C validator: The obvious website to use, if your site doesn’t validate then these errors could affect the functionality, making it difficult to use.
  • W3C WAI: A website all about accessibility, including a very large list of online tools and guidance for developers.
  • WAVE: One of my personal favourites, it tells you if there are any errors and exactly where these errors are. It also tells you what you are doing right in terms of structure and HTML5.
  • JUICY Studio: They provide various different testing tools, including looking at the readability; contrast and ARIA controls.
  • Snook contrast checker: This page let’s you try different colours using HEX codes or their colour slider and helps you choose colours which contrast significantly against each other.
  • Responsinator: Not known for being an accessibility tool, but with responsive design becoming more popular, it’s important. This tool shows you your site on a large number of different devices.
  • WebAim: A great resource for accessibility tools; information; case studies and examples of how users with different disabilities interact and view the web.
  • Fangs screen reader emulator (free Firefox add-on): When it came to looking at cognitive disabilities, I found that many users who have severe dyslexia often use a screen reader to view the web. This tool allowed to me to view how websites would be read by a screen reader – it’s an eye opener and very interesting to use.
  • Browser stack: View your website in various different browsers – this is a paid service but you can get a free trail. It is the best cross-browser tool I could found which also let you interact with your site inside the browser chosen.

Please feel free to comment on this article with any useful accessibility tools and websites you have used or know of 🙂

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