Lesson 3: Validating Your Accessibility
In this lesson, you will have an opportunity to experiment with three free web accessibility assessment tools. These tools provide you with feedback about the accessibility of your web pages. Unlike HTML and CSS, accessibility is somewhat subjective. Some accessibility issues can be automatically detected, such as whether there are "alt" attributes on graphics. However, some accessibility issues can't be automatically detected and require human judgment. The web accessibility tools will list accessibility problems that were automatically detected, and for those items that it couldn't detect automatically it will prompt you to inspect those items manually.
At the completion of this exercise, you will have:
- learned about available tools for checking the accessibility of web pages.
- gained practice using these tools to evaluating web pages for accessibility.
As a class, your instructor will guide you through a review of several websites using two or more of the free web accessibility assessment tools. A list of free tools is provided below in the Resources section. Which of these free tools do you like best? Why? What's good about them? How could they be improved?
Next, you will evaluate the accessibility of your school's home page using whichever of the tools below you like best. Follow these steps:
- In your web editor, open the accessibility.html file in your site portfolio. This file should currently have an accessibility checklist that you created in the Unit 2 lesson on Creating a Data Table.
- Beneath the accessibility checklist table, add the following heading:
<h2>Accessibility Review of the Your School Name Home Page</h2>
- Beneath this heading, use any HTML that you feel is appropriate for documenting the results of your accessibility evaluation.
- Now use any of the accessibility assessment tools to evaluate your school's home page.
- If the tool discovers accessibility problems, or even if it doesn't, document your findings in the new section of your Accessibility web page. In addition to identifying the problems, consider how you would fix these problems. In your report, include both the problems and your ideas for solutions.
- WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool)
- Functional Accessibility Evaluator
- Cynthia Says
- University of Washington Accessible Information Technology: Tools and Resources (see especially the sections on "Standards validation and accessibility evaluation tools", "Color checkers", and "Browser toolbars, add-ons and extensions")
Share your accessibility page with your instructor. With your instructor, consider how your accessibility report, and those of other students in your class, could be used to improve the accessibility of your school's website.
Now that you've completed the module on automated quality control, proceed to the module on manual quality control.