Website Accessibility Resources
Various tools used to access websites for people with disabilities and to evaluate the accessibility of websites for use by people with disabilities.
For an overview in understanding what makes for a universally-designed website that is accessible to all, read Accessites criteria. Then use the following tools to check and fix your website.
Accessibar is an accessibility toolbar add-on for Mozilla’s Firefox web browser enabling easy, powerful and highly configurable manipulation of web page display and text-to-speech output. Accessibar can change fonts and background colors of a webpage, can increase line-spacing, can show/hide images and Flash on a webpage, has integrated text-to-speech capabilities, and many more accessibility features.
Accessible Information Solutions (AIS) Accessibility Toolbar
The AIS Toolbar allows developers to manually evaluate web pages for accessibility. Its options include: identifying components of a web page, simulating user perspectives, and providing links to additional resources for evaluating web pages for accessibility. The AIS toolbar is available in a number of languages for free non-commercial use, but can be used only with Internet Explorer.
AChecker is an open source Web accessibility evaluation tool. It can be used to review the accessibility of Web pages based on a variety of international accessibility guidelines. Use the Public AChecker to evaluate the accessibility of a Web site you know or download AChecker to set up your own version.
This toolbar, also known as the ‘Studybar’, has been created as an open-source, cross-browser toolbar to help students customise the way they view and interact with web pages to help their study skills.
The concept behind JISC Techdis Toolbar is simple: One toolbar to provide all of the functionality you would usually get in many different products, and which will run in any desktop web browser.
CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology)
CAST is a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning. Founded in 1984 as the Center for Applied Special Technology, CAST has earned international recognition for its innovative contributions to educational products, classroom practices, and policies. Its staff includes specialists in education research and policy, neuropsychology, clinical/school psychology, technology, engineering, curriculum development, K-12 professional development, and more.
EASI: Equal Access to Software and Information
EASI is an independent, non-profit organization that provides information and guidance in the area of access-to-information technologies by individuals with disabilities. EASI shares information about developments and advancements within the adaptive computer technology field to colleges, universities, K-12 schools, libraries and into the workplace. EASI also provides online training on adaptive technology and how institutions can provide barrier-free computer and information technology systems for persons with disabilities. The EASI web site includes information about information technology, education, and disability with special topics on science and math learning; EASI's consulting service and publications; Internet captioning; ITD e-journal; disability legislation; hardware and software; libraries; distance learning; and more.
IBM's Essentials of Web Accessibility Course
The Essentials of Web Accessibility course is part of a series of self-directed and self-paced Web Based Training courses. Course topics include: Introduction to Web Accessibility, Web Accessibility Standards, Web Accessibility Techniques, Creating Accessible Flash Objects, and Improving the Web Experience for People with Disabilities.
ITTATC Course by Jim Thatcher: Web Accessibility for Section 508
This online course was written for the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center (ITTATC) by Jim Thatcher. Funded in support of Section 508, the course includes information on making web pages accessible and concludes with a summary pegged to the sixteen Section 508 standards. For an extensive list of resources related to Web accessibility, see http://jimthatcher.com/resources.htm.
Knowbility's mission is to ensure barrier-free information technology - supporting the independence of people with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessible information technology. Knowbility programs include:
- Accessibility Consulting and Advisory Services, including accessibility assessments, implementation services, and technical guidance to help corporations and organizations meet federal requirements and other institutional mandates for accessibility.
- Accessibility training for web and software professionals. From basic to advanced topics our training courses allow you to develop applications that work for everyone including people with disabilities.
- Educational and Community Initiatives, such as ATSTAR teacher-training, which helps schools and other community organizations include students with disabilities in learning activities.
- Awareness Programs, including speakers bureau and the Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) produced annually in cities throughout the United States.
National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE)
NCDAE provides a resource on "Cognitive Disabilities and the Web: Where Accessibility and Usability Meet". The article notes that the diversity of ability and experience of users with cognitive disabilities has made development of web accessibility guidelines for this population less clear. This resource offers suggestions based on basic usability principles; many of which make the web easier for everyone to use.
Raising the Floor
Raising the Floor is an international consortium of organizations and individuals focused on ensuring that people experiencing disabilities, literacy problems, or the effects of aging are able to access and use all of the information, resources, services, and communities available on or through the Web. Visit the website to see a list of current projects by consortium members.
Trace Research and Development Center
Trace has been a pioneer in the field of technology and disability, with a focus on making off the shelf technologies and systems like computers, the Internet, and information kiosks more accessible for everyone through the process known as universal, or accessible, design. The Trace website includes an extensive list of resources related to Web accessibility.
University of Illinois Accessibility Extension
The Accessibility Extension provides new menus and keyboard shortcuts for accessing every feature of a web page viewed using Mozilla.
University of Southampton
This university's School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) Accessibility Projects page highlights the many web and e-learning accessibility tools being developed by ECS for free and open use by users around the world.
Viewable With Any Browser Campaign
The Viewable With Any Browser campaign includes an Accessible Site Design Guide which discusses issues in web page accessibility and how to make web pages as accessible as possible. This is not an HTML guide, but helps designers know what the accessibility trouble spots are in web pages, and provides advice on how to deal with them. Additional information is included in the links section. Individuals are invited to discuss accessibility issues in the Any Browser Forum, as well, and can browse sample letters to send to web sites found to be inaccessible to encourage administrators to make them viewable with any browser.
WAVE 4.0 Web Accessibility Tool
WAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid individuals in the web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility of that page.
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) works with organizations around the world to develop strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities. WAI develops its work through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s consensus-based process involving different stakeholders in Web accessibility. These include industry, disability organizations, government, accessibility research organizations, and more. WAI, in partnership with organizations around the world, pursues accessibility of the Web through five primary activities:
- Ensuring that core technologies of the Web support accessibility
- Developing guidelines for Web content, user agents, and authoring tools
- Facilitating development of evaluation and repair tools for accessibility
- Conducting education and outreach
- Coordinating with research and development that can affect future accessibility of the Web
WebbIE text-only browser
Available for free download in 15 languages, WebbIE is a web browser for people who are blind or low vision, especially those using screen readers. It comes with the accessible programs, letting you access news and audio on the Internet in a simple and accessible way, allowing you to use podcasts, listen to the radio and read RSS and news with your screen reader or other access solution.
Working via the Internet with volunteers who have disabilities
Serviceleader.org offers specialized resources for volunteers as well as volunteer managers and service leaders who are interested in utilizing technology to benefit their organizations. Serviceleader.org’s Virtual Volunteering Resources page includes information and resources on including people with learning, mental health-related, and other non-apparent disabilities, in online volunteerism. Although designed to promote volunteerism, this information can be applied broadly to making online content accessible to people with disabilities. The Virtual Volunteering Resources page includes tips on accommodating people with disabilities, links to disability and Web accessibility resources, and more.
Although efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, MIUSA/NCDE cannot be held liable for inaccuracy, misinterpretation or complaints arising from these listings. Mention of an organization, company, service or resource should not be construed as an endorsement by MIUSA/NCDE. Please advise NCDE of any inaccuracies you may find.