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Accessibility Tools for Web Developers

With the continuous growth of the web, accessibility is becoming more and more relevant and important with time; especially in regards to the Government, and sectors that must communicate and cater to all audiences. It is also a great practice for businesses that use the web, to adhere to best accessibility practices so they can reach a much larger audience. More and more tools are becoming available for web developers to meet these standards; both in terms of testing as well as implementing in the forms of software, native and third-party, standard guidelines, browser plugins, and more. “Evaluation tools can be plugins (extensions) for authoring tools and web browsers, command line tools, desktop or mobile applications, and online services. Different tools may be combined, depending on your design and development process.’ stated the Web Accessibility Initiative or WAI.

Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools are described by W3.org as ‘Web accessibility evaluation tools are software programs or online services that help you determine if web content meets accessibility guidelines. This page provides a list of evaluation tools that you can filter to find ones that match your particular needs. To determine what kind of tool you need and how they are able to assist you, see Selecting Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools.’  Some tools available can check to verify accessibility can be reached through your web property by scanning and validating; programming syntax, semantic and valid HTML, XML, CSS, proper color and contrast use, proper audio and caption use, progressive and usable design pertaining to icons and layouts, and more. For example the ‘Functional Accessibility Evaluator(FAE)’ tool is described as ‘Online web accessibility evaluator from the University of Illinois, designed for testing WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA requirements. FAE is capable of crawling a website and providing a summary report, plus reports for each individual page.’  by the University of Washington. There are also tools that scan through technologies used such as third-party softwares, apis, and integrated technologies.

Outside of the many helpful tools available; coding legible, clean, and semantic code, will always assist in your efforts of accessibilities. Using proper colors throughout your website in terms of background, on page text, and with imagery is also important. Proper use of audio with corresponding text copy, third-party softwares, proper use of images used in acceptable places (ie. not for a header banner), and having your web property work seamlessly through popular resolutions and devices. There is a lot to know up front while building and designing that can certainly assist in the Accessibility effort; but there are also many tools that can help test, verify, validate, and also implement these measures correctly. “The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.” described and summarized on the Mozilla developer docs. Accessibility is the progressive web.

About the Author
Cameron Cashwell Web Developer
I build websites, web apps, and software. Wanna work together? Let's chat about your project!

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