Accessibility Testing Tools
For help, contact: Karen Sorensen
A Word of Caution
Automated, accessibility testing tools provide a good baseline check for accessibility of HTML web pages, PDFs and Microsoft Office 2010 documents, but the documents still need a human to check the pages and ask these questions:
- Are headings used to give the document structure?
- Are embedded media and any interactive widgets on the page, keyboard accessible?
- Does the ALT text for graphics clearly represent the meaning the instructor wants to convey with the image?
- Is the navigation easy to follow and understand?
Microsoft Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010
Microsoft Office 2010 has built-in accessibility checkers. All you have to do in any Microsoft Office 2010 software is go to the File tab, choose the Info menu item (if it isn't selected already), and then click the "Check for Issues" button and choose "Check Accessibility" from the drop down menu.
Please Note: The accessibility checker only checks .docx files
The accessibility checker provides you with a list of errors and warnings. When you choose an error or warning, instructions on how to fix it appear below in "Additional Information".
There are a few different web page accessibility checkers, but in order to check web pages that require a log-in, such as learning management systems usually do, you will need a browser based checker. I use the Web AIM WAVE accessibility add-on for the Firefox browser.
Just click the "Errors, Features, and Alerts" icon to see what accessibility errors you have on the page. If you hover over the error icon, more information on the error will appear. To return to the page without the error alerts, click the "Reset Page" icon on the toolbar. There's a lot more you can do with this toolbar too, but this is how you do an accessibility error check with it. For more information on the toolbar, see the Web AIM website.
Adobe Acrobat X Professional has a built-in accessibility checker, but many faculty only have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader which does not have an accessibility checker. If you only have the free Reader software, just make sure you test your original document with the Microsoft Office 2010 accessibility checker before you convert your document to a PDF.
If you have Adobe Acrobat X Professional, run an accessibility check on your PDF. You can find the accessibility checker under Tools in the top, right hand side. If you don't see it there, click the View menu and select Tools > Accessibility. Here are some excellent instructions on how to use the accessibility check in Adobe Acrobat X Pro.