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Using automated accessibility checking tools

From: Web Accessibility Principles

Video: Using automated accessibility checking tools

>> We've looked at some tools that will allow you to analyze certain parts of your web site, or analyze them for certain disabilities. But now we're going to look at tools that will test your web site for their compliance with Section 508 or WCAG. For this we're going to continue to use the city lights page on the W3.org web site. Go to the address bar and select and copy the URL using Ctrl C or Cmd C. Then we're going to go to the Cynthia Says web site. The URL is www.cynthiasays.com.

Using automated accessibility checking tools

>> We've looked at some tools that will allow you to analyze certain parts of your web site, or analyze them for certain disabilities. But now we're going to look at tools that will test your web site for their compliance with Section 508 or WCAG. For this we're going to continue to use the city lights page on the W3.org web site. Go to the address bar and select and copy the URL using Ctrl C or Cmd C. Then we're going to go to the Cynthia Says web site. The URL is www.cynthiasays.com.

This is a very popular web site accessibility validator. If we scroll down the page we can see a form asking us for our web page. Click in that box, highlight over the default text and delete it, then use Ctrl V or Cmd V to paste in our URL. In the next field on the form we're asked to choose an accessibility report mode. Click on the drop down box and either choose Section 508 or WCAG priority 1, 1 and 2 , or 1, 2, and 3.

We'll choose Section 508 for this test. The first check box listed does not apply to this test since we're not testing against WCAG standards. The next check box asks us if we want to include the alternative text quality report. This checks to make sure that your old text is not only present, but high quality. So check that box. You don't need to change anything for the emulate this browser option. So click Test Your Site. And the report will load. Each of the standards of Section 508 is tested.

Let's scroll down the page and see how we did. The first 508 rule states a text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided. Underneath the rule are listed all of the problems that we currently have complying with this rule. On the right-hand column that says passed, there are three sub columns labeled yes, no, and other. We have a no in this column, meaning we're not currently complying with this rule. In order to pass we would have to fix the failures that are listed in the main column. Continue to scroll down the page.

The next test does not have a yes or no written, but instead an NA for not applicable. That's because this test is looking for equivalent alternatives for multimedia presentations, and the validator did not find any multimedia on this page. Continue to scroll down to get to the third row of the table. For this rule neither yes, no, or NA is filled in. This means that this rule has to be tested by a human of the there's no way for a machine to be able to tell if the color you're using on the page is conveying information or if it's just decoration.

Any time you get a blank result such as here, it means that you need to do manual testing to make sure that you're complying. As we continue to scroll down the page you'll notice that a number of rows are blank. This illustrates what we talked about earlier, that it's very important to test your pages with people. No machine is going to be able to truly know if you complied with these standards and made your page accessible. Let's try another popular web accessibility validator. This one is located at www.webxact.com.

On this page there's only one form field for us to fill out with our page URL. Highlight over the default text, delete it, and use Ctrl V or Cmd V to paste in the same URL we used before. Then click on the go button. This test, unlike Cynthia Says, includes information on a lot more than just accessibility of your page. In includes information such as the file size of the page, when it was last updated, it's meta data, and more information that doesn't necessarily have a bearing on accessibility.

If we scroll back up the page, though, the third tab over on the left is named accessibility. Click on that tab, and you can see the details of our accessibility test. By default, this tool checks against WCAG 1.0, including priority 1, 2, and 3 check points. At the top of the page you have a summary of the number of errors as well as warning that are generated by the test. Warnings mean that your page has not failed but that there might be something there that you need to manually check. If we scroll down the page the priority 1 check points are listed first with their errors at the top and the warnings below.

The number and the name of the check point are given, then you're told the number of times this error or warning has occurred, and finally line numbers where this error or warning is happening in your document so you know exactly where to go to fix the problems. Both of these tools are a good way to quickly check if you have all text on your images and other things that can be determined by a machine. But as you see there are many thing that's need to be determined by manual testing. Next we'll do some manual testing with the Jaws screen reader program.

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This video is part of

Image for Web Accessibility Principles
Web Accessibility Principles

68 video lessons · 25676 viewers

Zoe Gillenwater
Author

 
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 31s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 41s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 12s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 51s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 16s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 43s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 41s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 29s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      12m 0s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 17s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 11s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 28s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 55s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 9s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 1s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 5s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 7s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 7s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 15s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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