Content Owner Tools
- UChicago offers Equidox as an enterprise tool to simplify the creation of accessible PDFs without the need for Adobe Acrobat Pro. Visit the UChicago Equidox webpage to learn more.
- Free tool to extract text from subtitles (removes all timestamps and other effects)
- PDF/UA PAC checker (Windows only) identifies all of the machine verifiable success criteria of ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA) and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)
Website Evaluation Tools
Automated accessibility testing tools are used to check a webpage or website and quickly identify a number of errors.
Each tool has strengths and weaknesses, and is likely to deliver different results for the same page or site. Automated tools, by their very nature, interpret the underlying guidelines literally, and cannot check for many content and HTML coding issues. Therefore, it is best to consider the results provided by an automated tool in conjunction with additional manual checks, including trying to navigate using only the keyboard.
University of Chicago is utilizing Siteimprove as its enterprise tool to assist site owners, web developers, designers, and content owners find and remediate accessibility issues discoverable via automation. Visit the UChicago Siteimprove webpage to learn more.
The browser extensions below are all free and allow you to securely check webpages. Adding a browser extension to either Firefox or Chrome allows you to test your webpage with the click of a button.
- Axe (for Chrome, Firefox, or Edge) by Deque
- Lighthouse (can run in Chrome DevTools, from the command line, or as a Node module; also available as a Firefox extension).
- Siteimprove Accessibility Checker (for Chrome) by Siteimprove
- WAVE (for Chrome, Firefox, or Edge) by WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind), a nonprofit organization based at Utah State University
A linter is a code analysis tool used to automatically flag programming errors, bugs, stylistic errors, and other coding defects during development. Free accessibility linters are available for a wide variety of code editors and programming languages. Similar to the browser extensions, these accessibility linters help catch WCAG violations that can be found via automation. Manual accessibility audits are still required once the code is deployed.
There are a variety of screen readers to choose from, and each takes a while to learn and configure before you can use it efficiently to evaluate the accessibility of digital content. Configurations include hotkeys, voice selection, rate of speech, and more.
This screen reader demo from UC San Francisco (YouTube) illustrates how screen reader users access digital content.
- NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access), a free download from NVAccess for Windows-based PCs
- Narrator, a free feature of Windows 10
- TalkBack, a free feature of Android OS
- VoiceOver, a free feature of all Apple OS products
- Screen Reader Shortcuts and Gestures
Careful use of contrast and color is vital to accessibility. Try some of these tools to help you make design decisions that enable users, including users with visual disabilities, to perceive the content on your web page.
UChicago Color System
If designing within The University of Chicago color system, please reference this contrast grid of accessible UChicago color combinations.
- Contrast Checker by WebAIM
- Color choices: hex values, color charts, and sliders
- Link Contrast Checker by WebAIM
- Very similar to the WebAIM contrast checker but includes checking link color, text color, and background color
- Contrast Checker by Acart Communications
- Color choices: hex or RGB values, color wheel slider, colors from your uploaded image
- Creates a history of tested color combinations; can save as a PDF
- Can share results, view grayscale
- Color Contrast Checker by Siteimprove
- Color choices: hex or RGB values, color chart and slider
- Color Contrast Analyzer by Deque
- Color choices: hex or RGB values, color charts, color names, and sliders
- Colour Contrast Checker
- Contrast checker with hex values and HSL sliders
- Chrome extension available with built-in eyedropper tool
Other Designer and Developer Color Tools
- Contrast Grid by Eightshapes
- Visualizes and scores many text and background color combinations at once, placing combinations in a grid
- Enables you to experiment with, discard, or adjust more extensive palettes
- Digital Color Meter for MacOS by Apple
- Built-in utility measures the value of any color on your screen using RGB and other options
- Ability to lock in the aperture location so the color value can be copied to a contrast checking tool (refer to Apple instructions)
- ColorZilla by iosart labs
- Analyzes a page, enabling you to inspect a palette of its colors
- Includes a color picker, eye dropper, gradient generator, and more
- For Firefox or Chrome
- Color Blind Filter by Toptal
- Shows what your page looks like to a person with color blindness
- Displays your page and its simulation side-by-side