Resources for Checking Accessibility

Making websites and apps that work for everyone should be something every web designer thinks about. It’s been on my mind a lot lately because I’m working on a project that must be Section 508 compliant. I’ve found the following resources useful.

Easy Checks for Accessibility
Gives some generalized tips and tricks for ensuring accessibility for websites. This isn’t a tool, but a great resources to brush up on some of the simpler things about making sites that can be forgotten as our development and design processes become more involved.

Check My Colors
Pretty cool site where you can plug in any live URL and get an analysis back on how your site does when it comes to color-related contrast.

Readability Test Tool
Tests the readability of your text as it relates to your diction, sentences and so on. The more readable something is, the more people will be able to understand it. FYI, this website’s readability is around Grade 7. I’m not writing the next greatest novel of our time, so I’m pretty happy with that.

Contrast Ratio
Way cool tool to check color codes against contrast. It gives you a live score of how your color choice will perform.

Colorblind Filter
Tests your website against color blindness filters. Renders an “as close as possible” version of your site as someone colorblind might see it. Very useful for making sure no one misses out on critical information that you may have chosen to color code.

While these tools are useful and kind of neat to play around with, keep in mind that if you’re working with something that must be accessible, a human should be the final point of reference for all accessibility evaluations. Software, at the moment, can’t catch it all, but it can help us out a little here and there.

Resources

Usability Geek, 10 Free Web-Based Accessibility Tools
Web Field Manual


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