Pros and Cons of Web Accessibility Evaluation and Repair Tools

Terry Thompson
AccessIT, University of Washington

What this presentation is not

What this presentation is

What software is available?

  • An extensive list maintained by the W3C
  • A Wide Range of Software

    A few of the best known vendors:

    Free Tools

    Open Source Project

    Planning for web accessibility

    How can software help?

    Shortcomings of software

    Is the software effective

    “A study of automated web site evaluation tools”
    Melody Ivory, Aline Chevalier

    Study Design

    9 experienced web designers are asked to modify 5 websites, and given 20 minutes for sites 1-5, 40 minutes for site 5:

    1. Manually, using no automated tool
    2. Using Watchfire Bobby
    3. Using W3C HTML Validator
    4. Using Usablenet LIFT
    5. Using all of the above

    Study Results

    W3C Evaluation And Report Language (EARL)

    The Evaluation and Report Language (EARL) is a general-purpose language for expressing test results. Web accessibility evaluation tools can use this language as a standard to express evaluations results in a platform independent format. Web authoring tools and other applications could aggregate these results from different tools to combine manual and automatic testing in an efficient way.

    How to choose a product

    See AccessIT Knowledge Base article How can I select a web accessibility software tool?

    Choose those questions that are relevant to your needs, and explore them with vendors:

    What about Usablenet LIFT Text Transcoder?