Why Web Accessibility Matters
As discussed in our Web Standards, where you can find more articles about Web Accessibility and Branding at Western, Accessibility standards help ensure that we as a public institution, “. . . provide equal access to programs and services for our entire community. . .” The Accessibility component of Western’s Web Standards resonates strongly with Western’s core commitment to diversity and inclusion.
We use the following tools to help ensure Web Accessibility compliant sites:
- HTML CodeSniffer
- Functional Accessibility Evaluator 2.0 (FAE)
- WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool)
- A11y Command Line Tools
- Chrome Lens
- Visual ARIA
This client-side script checks your HTML source code for conformance to common Web Standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and pertinent areas of Section 508 Legislation. You can paste your source code right in the page, or install their bookmarklet featured on the HTML CodeSniffer page.
- The Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE) 2.0 analyzes web pages for requirements defined by the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Single A and AA Success Criteria.
- Every rule used in FAE 2.0 references the WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion requirement it is based on.
- The rules support not only accessibility, but also usable web design for people with disabilities.
- The rules support accessible and usable design by enforcing coding practices that use of the latest accessibility technologies like the W3C Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) 1.0 and W3C HTML5 Specification specification and coding techniques that support features that improve usability of web resources by people with disabilities.
Developed by WebAIM as part of their “. . . mission to empower organizations to make their web content accessible to people with disabilities.” WAVE provides users with multiple methods to check their site’s accessibility: whether directly through the WAVE homepage, the Chrome Extension, FireFox Toolbar, or their API Service.
Pa11y offers numerous features for automating your Web Accessibility testing, and can be accessed via their web service, use of the command line, or their reporting dashboards. It also provides graphical information of your data.
A11y seeks to improve site’s Accessibility standards utilizing Chrome’s Developer Tools, as a way to ensure usability throughout a user community, including those with “. . . visual, hearing, mobility, and cognition.” related disabilities. Also of note, A11y provides API access and has a nice resource list for Web Accessibility under their Reading section.
ChromeLens is a set of developer tools that allow developers to code websites better suited for the visually impaired.
Visual ARIA allows engineers, testers, educators, and students to physically observe ARIA usage within web technologies, including ARIA 1.1 structural, live region, and widget roles, proper nesting and focus management, plus requisite and optional supporting attributes to aid in development.