Why Is Web Accessibility Needed?
Web accessibility is all about making the Web accessible to everyone, especially those with disabilities, giving them the opportunity to perceive, understand, navigate and interact with the Web. The disabilities have everything covered, including physical, auditory, speech, neurological, and cognitive. The majority of Websites have some or the other kind of accessibility barrier, making it difficult for a disabled person to use their site. Web accessibility assists in making sure that people with all kinds of disabilities do not face these roadblocks when using the Web.
Testing your website’s accessibility necessitates more than just a checklist of best standards and practices. If you aim to bring your site into line with the Web Accessibility Guidelines, you will require accessibility testing tools to audit your website’s content, design, and code. Tools are meant to assist website developers in making their sites more accessible for people with disabilities. Browsers are also a key in web accessibility. The challenge is building a site and software that can meet different users’ needs, preferences, and situations. Web accessibility can also benefit the ones without disabilities, especially those with a temporary disability like a broken arm, aging, or slow Internet connections. The accessibility testing tool you need depends on your site’s needs and budget, among many other factors.
Web Accessibility Tools for an Inclusive Website
In this article, you are going to be introduced to the best accessibility testing tools for every important area of your site, which will make your website perfect for a disabled person, making it inclusive!
Before you begin working on improving your site’s accessibility, it would be prudent to have a look at your site through different disability lenses. Funkify is a Chrome extension that allows you to assess your website through various disability simulations. If you are dedicated to providing an inclusive experience, then this tool can help you appreciate and understand the challenges your users face.
With the extension, you will be able to experience your site as a user with:
- A number of vision impairments
- Keyboard only control
Funkify is an excellent tool for starting the process of making your website accessible; once you have walked a mile in your users’ shoes, you will develop a good sense of where you need to make the improvements.
If your main focus is adhering to the standards of ADA and WCAG, then you need to look no further than Accessibility Spark. It will scan and analyze your website within 48 hours so that you can start working on them ASAP! It also includes multiple accessibility adjustments like fonts, sizing, color contrasts, spacing, animations, cursors, etc.
It is an accessibility tool with a customizable interface! People with different disabilities can choose the web profile that best suits their needs. It also provides protection against lawsuits and improves SEO, Traffic and conversions. It is an all-rounder accessibility tool you’ve been looking for!
Maintaining a good color contrast ratio ought to be high on your list of fixes, as approximately 1.3 billion people live with vision impairments. Luckily, plenty of great accessibility testing tools address this subject.
If you are looking forward to developing an entire color palette for your website, then you need something dynamic. This is where Color Safe comes in. Color Safe can aid you in finding an accessible color palette based on WCAG standards. It even allows you to play with a variety of font options like size and weight. Color Safe can be a great time saver if you get your hands on it early and design for accessibility from the outset. Once you set your options, you can easily generate a color palette with an amazing range of colors based on the targeted ratio. You can also filter the colors according to a preferred color, and get the HEX or RGB details.
If you are intent on a broad tool that can cover all the areas of accessibility, then tota11y is one of the best accessibility testing tools you can find. It is a lightweight tool that can be installed as a bookmarklet in your browser. For a lightweight tool, tota11y is a big punch. It can help you improve accessibility in your site’s design, structure, and content. You will be provided with options for labels, headings, color contrast, alt-text, link text, and landmarks.
When you choose one of the options, the tool will review your site according to the WCAG 2.1 AA standards. This is one of the great benefits of tota11y. It also shows the total number of errors that are highlighted on the page for your convenience. Moreover, tota11y shows you the offending code and an explanation of the problem. The tool can give you suggestions on how to fix it. tota11y is a motivating accessibility testing tool as it removes the assumptions and guesswork; you see what is incorrect, where is the improvement needed, and how to fix it.
You would want to aim for a well-structured text that even a 12-year-old can easily read when you are looking to make your content accessible. You can test all your content with one plugin: Yoast.
The key metric for any readable text is the Flesch Reading Ease test. This can help you minimize the mumbo jumbo, complicated vocabularies and maintain shorter and crisp sentences. The magic number is 70, and implementing Yoast’s advice in all the categories can help you take the number up. Accessible content is also easy for navigating with descriptive subheadings. Fragmenting your text up into appropriately titled sections can help readers find their content, resulting in good SEO value. Yoast also helps you make well-titled sub-headings with sections less than 300 words. If you join subheadings and short paragraphs, then your text immediately becomes more inclusive.
Accessibility Checker, designed by CKSource, is a software program that lets you inspect the accessibility level of content created in CKEditor. The software is known as an innovative solution for web accessibility. As soon as accessibility issues are spotted, the software allows you to solve those issues immediately. The product is user-friendly as it assists by providing users with step-by-step accessibility evaluation guidance. The product is designed in both English and Dutch versions, and the supported formats include CSS, HTML, and XHTML. The Guidelines follow WCAG 2.0 – W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, WCAG 1.0 – W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, and U.S. federal procurement standard. You can also test the product in a trial or demo format, and once a purchase is made, the license can be both enterprise and commercial.
Headings are not only important for readability and SEO, but they also play a crucial role in accessibility as they provide the structure that allows screen readers to comprehend the meaning of the content better. You can use HeadingsMap for Chrome or Firefox to confirm you are only using one H1 per page while also following the correct hierarchy.
On the left, you have an excellent overview of the heading hierarchy. The first advantage is an easy way to see if you skipped any levels. The second advantage is that you can skip to sections and see that the heading matches the content.
Accessibility Checklist, delivered through Elsevier, compromises a free and easy way to review the most latest and significant WCAG. The checklist covers guidelines WCAG 2.0—W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, and U.S. federal procurement standards. The checklist has a simplified language framework, and the user interface is easy to navigate. Users can easily filter the guidelines by topic, and these topics include keyboards, forms, and images. Another filter option involves filtering by standard levels of A, AA, or AAA.
The accessibility checklist offers step-by-step assessment guidance in terms of your site’s web accessibility. For the sites and developers who are working on a tighter budget, there is good news as the accessibility Checklist is free software without a need for paid license. Supported formats are CSS, HTML, XHTML, and Images.
It is fairly easy to add alt-text to your images, but if you miss anywhere, then your accessibility takes a hit. The easiest way to ensure that screen readers can helpfully identify images is to use one. For the price of a small donation, you can utilize the screen reader NVDA for Windows. If you are using a Mac, then VoiceOver is a great pre-installed tool.
Using screen readers as accessibility testing tools is an excellent way to understand how someone with a severe vision impairment experiences your website. It is also going to encourage you to create more descriptive link text. There are only so many times you can hear ‘Click Here’ before you commit to always improving link context.
Summing It Up
Having these accessibility testing tools in your hand is a great initial step in improving your site’s accessibility. With these tools, you can easily create an inclusive website from the outset. With Accessibility Spark, people with different disabilities can select the web profile that best suits their needs. The interface is fully customizable and can adapt to your website design from icons, sizes, shapes, colors, and more.