For people beginning their web accessibility journey, one of the most daunting tasks can be assessing the content you have already created to learn where and how improvements can be made. Doing a search for “web accessibility checker” returns a long list of free and paid tools and services that allow you, an automated program, or a third party to examine your website and identify problem areas.
However, several of those tools can either require some additional technical or accessibility knowledge that many people are not comfortable using or understanding as they start to learn more about web accessibility.
If you fall into that beginner category and are looking for quick, free, and easy to understand ways of identifying potential usability issues on your website to people with varying disabilities, here are a few resources you can check out to get started!
Web Accessibility Checkers for Beginners
A11Y Color Contrast Accessibility Validator
The A11y Color Contrast Accessibility Validator is one of my favorite resources for comparing color usage across your website because of how straight forward it is.
After submitting your website address, it provides a review showing background and text color pairs that either pass or fail required color contrast ratio based on the font size and style, where it can be found on your website, and tips on how you can adjust the color contrast to receive a passing score.
For failing color combinations, you can select the Test Colors button, and on a new page you can evaluate other potential background and foreground color combinations to find one that meets the required contrast ratios set by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
tota11y Accessibility Visualization Toolkit
tota11y is a great resource for those who want to see accessibility errors and successes on their page in real time, but do not want download a plugin to add to their browser. By dragging and dropping the tota11y bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar, you can run it on any web page and in any browser. By selecting it after you are on the page you want to inspect, tota11y runs a script that assesses heading, color contrast, link test and other elements of accessibility on that page.
You can select which item you’re interested in digging into deeper and it shows you the results directly on the page. It also is testing a “Screen Reader Wand” that shows you how a screen reader would present the information on the page as you hover over it.
Related Post: What is Alternative Text?
Web Accessibility Initiative Easy Checks
The Web Accessibility Initiative is the ultimate resource for those not only looking to meet accessibility compliance standards, but who want a broader understanding of digital accessibility as a whole. They know that not everybody is approaching web accessibility from a technical background, and created the Web Accessibility Initiative Easy Checks guide for people who want to learn how to look for quick accessibility fixes simply by navigating their own website.
They provide simple prompts, such as looking at how page titles display on your web page and in your browser, when text is resized does it impact your formatting, and can you easily move around your website by only using a keyboard and not a mouse. This guide tells you what to do, what to check for, and additional resources to resolve or better understand these issues.
Want to Learn More?
These resources are the perfect place for beginners to not only start understanding some of the principles and aspects of web accessibility, but quick areas of improvement you can make on your websites.
If you want to take it a step further and keep educating yourself on accessibility, the Web Accessibility Initiative’s Introduction to Web Accessibility will provide more information about what web accessibility is, why it’s important, and additional ways you can start evaluating your own accessibility.