Monday, March 24, 2008

Automated Accessibility Testing

If you think automated accessibility testing is expensive and complex, then think again. Now you can use WAVE - Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools to help you automate the process. All you need to do is enter your site and let the system do the rest. You can also upload the files or copy the whole code in the textbox and let them verify it. Is that it? No!!! You can also install the toolbar (Firefox extension), use the bookmarket, and add the URL in other application (eg. WebDeveloper extension).
WAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid humans 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 information within your page.
Even though it's marked as Beta, i found it very stable and usable. Try it for yourself and see the results.

One good example of a good website that combines accessibility and creativity is CSSZenGarden. The system found no accessibility errors on that site while it continues to amaze lots of people by it's beauty of design.