Web Site Evaluation Tools
The software tools and resources listed below may be helpful in reviewing Web sites in compliance with the Purdue University Web Accessibility policy. The list is not comprehensive but does provide a good place to start. Additional resources may be found on the Purdue University Web Accessibility Resources page and the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative list of evaluation tools.
Some of these tools require that you use a specific browser for your evaluation. Others are available online and there are some applications available to download for free.
Browser Independent Tools:
Checking Web Pages / Sites
- WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) available at WebAIM.org.
- Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign .
- AChecker Web Service .
- Cynthia Says from HiSoftware.
- Colour Contrast Check created by Web Developer Jonathan Snook.
- WebAIM Color Contrast Checker
- Check My Colours — Color Contrast
- Contrast Analyzer, Version 2.2
Also see information about aDesigner below
For additional resources and links to tutorials, visit our Web Accessibility Resources page.
- Free PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC)
- Quick Reference Guide to Creating and Repairing PDFs and PDF Forms (PDF).
- WebAIM Guide to Accessible Word Documents
- Office 2010 and Adobe Acrobat Pro both have built-in accessibility checkers and the WebAIM site has information about using these tools, as well.
Downloadable Software Tools
- aDesigner from ACTF (Accessibility Tools Framework) is a program that evaluates Web pages by simulating what blind, low vision and colorblind visitors might experience. It is a free download and includes options to simulate levels of age related vision issues as well as various forms of colorblindness.
- LYNX text-only browser This browser can be useful in stripping a page down to text only, tho other tools also simulate text-only pages, so this may not be as useful as it once was.
Browser Dependent Tools:
- Web Accessibility toolbar available from the Web Accessibility Tools Consortium. Some of the functions of the add-ons listed below for Mozilla Firefox are incorporated in this one toolbar, though not all are covered. It does include a LYNX emulator.
(Please note that, due to the new release schedule for Firefox updates, some add-ons may not work with some versions of this browser.)
- Firefox browser (latest version available from Mozilla.org)
- WAVE toolbar for Firefox from WebAIM.org. This is useful for evaluating password-protected pages and sites on Intranets, since no information is sent to the WAVE server.
- Firefox Web Developer toolbar, available from the Add-Ons page (search for Web Developer) This provides a variety of tools including outlining tables and checking for valid HTML and CSS as well valid Section 508 using Cynthia Says.
- Firefox Accessibility Evaluation toolbar, available from the Add-Ons page (search for Accessibility – it should be on the first page of results) This provides additional tools for evaluation based on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE).
- Firefox Juicy Studio Accessibility toolbar, available from the Add-Ons page (search for Accessibility – it should be on the first page of results.) This checks for accessible tables and analyzes color contrast and luminosity.
- Fangs for Firefox, available from the Add-Ons page(search for Fangs) This is a screen reader emulator and displays in text what a screen reader would present a Web page to a listener.
- FireEyes, available from Worldspace.Deque.com is similar to the WAVE toolbar, but it does offer a more comprehensive analysis of a page or an entire domain, and it provides a report. It is also more complicated to use and to set up. You must register an account with Worldspace first and you must have the Firebug extension installed in FireFox. Firebug is available from the Add-Ons page (search for Firebug). Once you have the tools installed, login to your account at Worldspace.Deque.com and access the training tutorials to see how to use this. This tool is recommended for those with some HTML and coding knowledge. FireEyes is free but there is an Enterprise version. (Pricing and licensing information is available at Deque.com.)