5 Web Accessibility Tools You Must Know About

Web accessibility can be defined as the process of making websites or online contents accessible to all people regardless of their abilities or disabilities; this is achieved through use of web accessibility tools. What this means is that a blind person should stand an equal chance as an individual with clear vision to access web content. In short, it entails giving everyone an equal chance and opportunity to access various online features without any hindrance or exposure to risk. It is a legal obligation that all web developers need to put the fate of all people particularly those with disabilities into consideration. The above obligations/ guidelines are laid down by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).

The W3C oversees the activities of web developers through its set of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Other bodies enforcing the above obligations include The American with Disabilities Act which prohibits any form of discrimination against individuals with disabilities in places of public accommodation. Based on the act, the web is regarded as a place of public accommodation. It is in this reason that website content falls under the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines. WEB accessibility is tested using different online evaluation tools also referred to as assessment software. Such tools help automate the procedure of finding any potential risk or errors. Nevertheless, the tools only acts as a guide and manual checking of the results ought to be made.

5 Web Accessibility Tools You Must Know About

1. IDI Web accessibility Checker

Engineered by the university of Toronto, the above tool help provide the basic common errors encountered in accessing online content. Such common errors include Alt text for images or ARIA compliance. Just like a HTML validator, one can upload a HTML file, directly, paste your markup or provide a URL link. Some of the common errors detected include color contrast errors, missing texts or inputs without labels. It is interesting to note that one can also check the validity of CSS and HTML settings too, all at a press of a button. The above tool is greatly beneficial to individuals with any form of visual impairment such as short sightedness or color blindness.

2. Blackboard

Under the W3C guidelines, all website developers should make their content accessible to all people including the disabled. The aim of blackboard software is to give an accessible platform to teachers and students regardless of their disabilities, teachers and students? Well, it is important to note that a big number of courses are now offered online thus making the online classes a “place of public accommodation”.

Through the New Record from Webcam application, individuals with hearing problems can create Video messages which can further be captioned for easy learning. In addition to that, individuals with impaired visions are put into consideration through the Voiceover application or JAWS. Well, it is evident that the tool gives the disabled people a fair chance to learn and compete with other students. It can as well be viewed as one of the best ways of equipping the physically impaired persons.

3. Check my colours

The check my color tool is not only vital for the blind people but also equally important to people with different visual problems. Such individuals include blind persons, people with low visibility or color blind persons. It can be classified as one of the web accessibility tools that can be used to help detect the color contrast ratio in website pages. Through the software, one can analyze each element on a given page, change the settings based on the given sets to fit their interests or specifications. Depending on the response made, the user is in a better position to make the necessary adjustments to different settings. Such adjustments or changes are possible through calculating of the contrast ratio. The tool acts as a precaution move to individuals with visual related complications.

4. Readability Index Calculator

According to the W3C guidelines, all Web content materials should be accessible to all individuals in term of readability without causing any significant harm or damage to the user. This is done through counting words, sentences or syllables. In addition to that, the tools also perform standard tests just like the flash reading ease test. The software is particularly useful to persons with various visual complications. It is important to note that the American with Disabilities Act particularly pushed for this segment in 2000. Although the matter was settled outside the court, it became a general requirement that all Web content need to be readable-accessible to all persons.

5. Photosynthetic Epileptic Analysis Tool (PEAT)

Individuals with epilepsy are subjected to attacks if the Web’s page flicker is high. It is in this reason that such individuals need to be protected from such possible harm (according to WCAG). The photosynthetic Epileptic Analysis tool is used to help detect such vulnerabilities on time before causing any harm or damage on the user. The software can capture your screen, perform test on the captured data and generate a full report on any risks or errors. Through various settings and applications, the user can change the settings to suit their need. Generally, the tool allows for adjustment to fit different needs of different individuals/ users.

Conclusion

In summary, it is important to note that it is a legal obligation to put all potential Web users into consideration. It is in this reason that web developers need to come up with software that fully reflect equality or non discrimination on weak persons. Nevertheless, it is important to note that with the various tools, both the disabled and the rest of the users are placed on a fair ground. In addition to that, it is important to note that such tools have also facilitated the learning process of persons with disabilities.

The Web accessibility tools are now here to your rescue and will definitely provide you with an accessible platform to online contents.

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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