Accessibility evaluation tools

Simulation tools

  • Accessibility color wheel
    "This tool analyzes the contrast of a color pair. It simulates how people with three forms of colorblindness might see the colors."
    (Giacomo Mazzocato)

  • aDesigner
    "A disability simulator that helps Web designers ensure that their pages are accessible and usable by the visually impaired."
    (IBM Alphaworks)

  • Backward compatibility viewer
    An online tool that shows how pages look in older browsers.
    (Delorie Software)

  • Colour blindness simulation
    "Roughly 1 in 20 people have some sort of colour vision deficiency. The world looks different to these people: they often find it hard to tell red and green things apart... Many pictures, documents and web pages are hard for color blind people to read because the people who designed them didn't think about the problem. Vischeck lets them check their work for color blind visibility." Vischeck simulates three kinds of colour blindness.
    (Bob Dougherty & Alex Wade, Vischeck)

  • Distractability simulation
    "This simulation demonstrates how difficult it can be to navigate even a simple site when operating under an intense cognitive load as someone with a cognitive disability might experience."

  • Low vision simulation
    "Web developers who are not visually impaired often have difficulty understanding the problems users with visual impairments face when accessing web pages that are not designed with their needs in mind. This simulation provides and opportunity for users to experience a web page as someone with a visual impairment might see it."

  • Lynx viewer
    An online tool that simulates a text-only browser.
    (Delorie Software)

  • Screen reader simulation
    "This simulation provides a way to experience what it is like to use a screen reader. A web site, the University of the Antarctic, is presented as a screen reader user would experience it. Keyboard shortcuts are provided to navigate within the site and find specific pieces of information."

  • Visual Impairment Simulator for Microsoft Windows
    "VIS is a program that simulates what it is like to use Microsoft Windows with a visual impairment. You start VIS running, and then use Microsoft Windows normally while VIS applies a visual impairment to your screen."
    (University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign)

Evaluation tools

  • A complex table inspector
    "Developers are encouraged to use summary, headers, axis, scope, and abbr for complex data tables to aid usability and accessibility. To help developers determine if they've used those features correctly, I've created a complex table inspector bookmark that reveals the hidden information."
    (Gez Lemon, Juicy Studio)

  • Colour contrast analyser
    "A downloadable desktop tool for checking foreground and background colour combinations to determine if they provide good colour visibility... based on algorithms suggested by the World Wide Web Consortium."
    (Steve Faulkner, Vision Australia)

  • Colour contrast check
    "Specify a foreground and a background colour and determine if they provide enough of a contrast 'when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen'."
    (Jonathan Snook,

  • CynthiaSays
    "A web content accessibility validation solution designed to identify errors in your content related to Section 508 standards or the WCAG guidelines." Free online version of AccMonitor Accessibility Module.

  • HERA
    "HERA is a tool to check the accessibility of Web pages according to the specification Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0). HERA performs a preliminary set of tests on the page and identifies any automatically detectable errors or checkpoints met, and which checkpoints need further manual verification."
    (Carlos Benavídez, Sidar)

  • Photosensitive epilepsy analysis tool
    "To minimize risk of visually induced seizures, Web designers and computer software developers should become familiar with the triggers of photosensitive disorder seizures. Content to consider includes bright and rapid flashes, especially red flash, and some spatial patterns. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 provides recommendations for using these forms of content safely. These guidelines include restrictions related to frequency, luminance, area and color of any flashing. Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) is a free, downloadable tool that allows web content to be tested for compliance with these guidelines."
    (Trace Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Site check
    "Site Check saves you time – fill out only one form instead of a dozen when checking a website. Site Check lists the test results provided by important validators and accessibility tools."

  • WAVE
    "WAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid humans in the web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility information within your page."

  • Web Accessibility Toolbar
    The Web Accessibility Toolbar has been developed to aid manual examination of web pages for a variety of aspects of accessibility. It runs as a plug-in to the Internet Explorer web browser.
    (Vision Australia)

Resource collections