While many websites claim Section 508 or WCAG conformance based on the evaluation of a tool, the truth is that at best the site passed the automatic accessibility features that can be judged electronically.
Though tools can spot certain issues, accessibility testing requires human judgment. You will need to evaluate what the tools are telling you. Accessibility compliance isn’t black and white. We can’t just rely on the tools and the rules. We must also go beyond them, to the subjective areas. To truly assess compliance, you must interact with the webpage to determine if a person with disabilities can complete tasks, and how difficult that process is for them.
Tools that run on the Microsoft® Windows® Platform include:
- Code Validators – W3C HTML Validator or HTML Validator add-on for Firefox verifies that web pages have correct syntax
- Browsers – use the browser’s accessibility functions (e.g. text size, zoom, no page style) to determine whether or not the site responds as expected to those functions
- Keyboard Testing - simply trying to use your website with the keyboard (hide your mouse) can tell you a lot about the accessibility of the site.
- Accessibility Checkers – single page and site evaluation tools
- API Viewers for evaluating Flash, AJAX and other rich Internet application
- Add-ons and Toolbars – they extend the capability of the browsers to help you easily find accessibility issues
- Color Analyzers
- Assistive technology – tools that people with disabilities use to access the Web
- Reporting Tools
- Accessibility Scribe™
- ARC - "Accessibility Resource Center"