Accessibility Evaluation Tools

If you haven't already checked out the Digital Accessibility Basics Training Series, please do so when you have a chance! This series will provide some context for any of the accessibility evaluation tools listed below.

Digital Accessibility Checklists

How do you find the right accessibility checklist to use during the design process? Well, the World Wide Web Consortium does make a series of checklists available to verify the accessibility of your digital content.

These checklists can be helpful to developers but may be overwhelming for content editors who have less experience with digital design. That being the case, Web Accessibility in Mind, or WebAIM, has developed a more digestible set of accessibility principles: Quick Reference: Web Accessibility Principles. They have also created a more user-friendly version of the WCAG 2 checklists: WCAG 2 Checklist.

Automated Accessibility Evaluation Tools

There are a significant number of free automated accessibility evaluation tools available online. Siteimprove is a quality assurance tool to which all pdx.edu content editors may request access. In addition to measuring quality assurance by catching things like misspellings and broken links, Siteimprove will also test for missing alt text or heading structure. Visit UCOMM's FAQ web page for details regarding Siteimprove Access. The following are some additional automated accessibility evaluation tools that may be helpful to you:

Note that automated accessibility evaluation tools will only help you to locate and repair the most obvious accessibility issues. To ensure WCAG 2.0 compliance, you must evaluate materials manually with adaptive technology or hire someone to do so.

Manual Testing with Adaptive Technology

At minimum, digital content should be tested with a keyboard and screen reading software to determine whether all functions can be accessed and used tactilely and auditorily. The following are some resources to help you get started:

Niklas Petersson, a native screen reader user from Miles Access Skills Training, created the following two, short videos illustrating the way someone who uses screen reading software might access images:

Color Contrast Evaluation Tools

In order to use a color contrast evaluation tool, you will need the hex or RGB key for the background and foreground colors you plan to use. If you are unable to determine this information easily within your content editing tool, you can use a tool like the Eye Dropper extension for Google Chrome.

Once you've determined the hex or RGB keys, you can use any of the following color contrast ratio checkers to evaluate contrast between background and foreground colors. WCAG 2.0 guidelines recommend at least a 4.5:1 contrast ratio. All of these color contrast checkers will indicate whether or not specific color combinations comply with WCAG 2.0 Levels A and AA, at or below size 18 font.