Below are some tools you will find useful in creating accessible content or informative about the experiences of those with disabilities accessing websites.
“The design of products, devices, services, or environments so as to be usable by people with disabilities.”
“Accessibility is best defined as the provision of flexibility to accommodate each [individual’s] needs and preferences when used with reference to persons with disabilities, any place, space, item or service, whether physical or virtual, that is easily approached, reached, entered, exited, interacted with, understood or otherwise used by persons of varying disabilities, is determined to be accessible.”
-United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Division for Social Policy and Development, Accessibility and Development Mainstreaming disability in the post-2015 development agenda”
WebAIM (AIM = Accessibility in Mind) is a great resource for aspects of accessibility including:
- Accessible images (how to use alt text tags and captions)
- Different types of assistive technologies such as those developed for people with visual impairment and motor skill disabilities
There is a great breakdown of different tools (and different types of tools) featured on the AIM website. You can read their assessment of different tools here.
Code Sniffer is a bookmarklet [a link you keep on your bookmark bar but which runs an application rather than takes you to a website] which assesses how well-formed and formatted a web page is. It is a very useful tool although some of its results are pretty technical. You can download Code Sniffer here.
Colour Contrast Checkers
These are tools which assesses whether there is a great enough contrast between a text colour and the background on which it is overlaid. Black on white is deemed best but sometimes we need to use another text colour (eg, for links, aor to attain a branding goal.) Visit AIM’s Contrast Checker, or you can google “colour contrast checkers” to view many other examples.
WAVE Accessibility Evaluation Tool
WAVE is a highly regarded tool for scanning sites for accessibility errors and warnings. You can try out WAVE for free.
We recommend visiting media which demonstrate how people with visual disabilities access web pages. It is fascinating!
View video of Sina Bahram demonstrating use of a screen reader. (Sina is an accomplished “universal design” and accessibility evangelist.)
Hear the speed at which Tuukka Ojala listens to code he writes. Tuukka is a (in his words) blind software developer. Then read Tuukka’s story.