Testing for Digital Accessibility

Best Practices for Internally-Developed Digital Products

“When developing or redesigning a website or web application, evaluate accessibility early and throughout the development process to identify accessibility problems early, when it is easier to address them.” The World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has a helpful evaluating web accessibility overview to help you get started, and the W3C accessibility standards overview introduces guidelines and other standards related to web accessibility.

Tools for Automated Testing 

Note: Resources are listed from “easy to use” to “requires specialist knowledge.”

Third Party Browser Extensions

Automated accessibility testing cannot replace manual testing by an actual human being, but it can be a good first step.

Browsers’ Built-in Accessibility Tools

Modern versions of major browsers have their own accessibility tools built into their developer tools. For more information, see the documentation for the tools available in your preferred browser.

Color Checkers

  • Colour Contrast Analyser
    Easy to use free application, available for Windows and Mac. Check foreground & background color combinations using an eyedropper tool from anywhere on the screen, including non-web based applications
  • WCAG Contrast Checker for Firefox
    Firefox extension displays color contrast ratios in a sidebar, and flags the color combinations that fail WCAG contrast requirements.
  • WebAIM Color Contrast Checker
    Online tool includes a feature to “lighten” or “darken” existing colors until you find a combination that meets WCAG 2.1 requirements. 
  • Chrome High Contrast extension
    High Contrast lets you browse the web with your choice of several high-contrast color filters designed to make it easier to read text.      

Tools for Manual Testing