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Digital accessibility testing tools

Accessibility evaluation with automatic tools

Digital accessibility testing tools are a great starting point in assessing the accessibility of your website. These tools scan through the website’s code and content, flagging usability barriers for people with disabilities, and identifying errors based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). They can even describe how to fix any issues that are found.

We recommend using accessibility testing tools as soon as possible in your development process. By identifying accessibility issues early on, particularly during the design phase, you can minimize the need for extensive remediation in the future.

There are various types of testing tools available, ranging from semi-automated to fully automated. Some even utilize artificial intelligence to streamline the testing process and eliminate guesswork. Keep in mind that all tools have their limitations, even if they are powered by the newest technology. They may not fully understand the context as well as a human can, so manual testing is still necessary to ensure inclusivity and accessibility.

We’ve handpicked some of our favorite accessibility tools to help you evaluate your websites. With them, you’ll pave the way towards a more inclusive digital experience.

Comprehensive accessibility evaluation tools

  • Automated scans of pages and documents
  • Prioritizes accessibility issues and provides guidance on resolving them
  • Tracks progress toward achieving an inclusive digital presence

Siteimprove is the University of Rochester licensed tool.

  • Check accessibility right from the browser’s Developer Tools
  • Discover defects early in a development process
  • Great tool for digital content creators, designers, and developers

axe DevTools is a free browser extension by Deque.

  • Adds intelligent guided testing to the free version tool and increases coverage for accessibility issues
  • Allows testing of individual website components, as well as sharing and exporting issues

axe DevTools Pro is a subscription version of the axe DevTools.

  • Provides visual insights and feedback about the website’s accessibility helping to reveal possible issues
  • Popular tool for digital content creators, designers, and developers

WAVE is a free browser extension by WebAIM.

  • Checks for accessibility issues in the design stage of creating a website or digital resource
  • Supports the “shift left” approach to identifying and remediating most accessibility barriers early in the process
  • A set of tools for designers working in Sketch or Figma

Stark is a subscription set of accessibility tools.

Color contrast evaluation tools

  • Check text or UI element color contrast against the background to ensure that it meets WCAG standards

Color Contrast Analyzer is a free tool by The Paciello Group (TPG).

  • Calculate the contrast ratio of any two colors

Contrast Ratio is a free online tool by Lea Verou.

  • See a pass or fail score based on WCAG standards for color contrast

Contrast Checker is a free online tool by WebAIM.

Document evaluation tools

  • Checks PDF documents for accessibility and compliance with the PDF/UA standard
  • Provides detailed reports highlighting areas requiring improvement to ensure accessibility

PACĀ is a free tool.

Other accessibility tools

  • A “favelet” or “bookmarklet” that can be easily used from the bookmarks toolbar
  • Perform a manual inspection of web content

ANDI is a free accessibility and Section 508 compliance “bookmarklet” testing tool.

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