Evaluation tools

Tools can reduce the time and effort required to carry out evaluations, as they can automate tests or assist reviewers in the manual evaluation. However, we have some bad news:

  • The WCAG 2 does not provide an official tool to check the websites.
  • There is not any fully automatable, stand-alone evaluation tool, even non-official, which can perform the whole audit.
  • The W3C does not promote nor endorse any tool.
  • Tools’ results may be false or misleading, so an expert review has to embrace or dismiss them.

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How can I determine if a web technology is ‘accessibility supported’?

Let’s assume that nobody knows which technologies are and aren’t accessibility supported. Now what? Well, the WAI has tried to bring a definition, not very clear, but a definition after all:

a Web content technology is “accessibility supported” when users’ assistive technologies will work with the Web technologies AND when the accessibility features of mainstream technologies will work with the technology.

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The way we use the technology determines its accessibility support

Remember these categorical clauses? ‘Don’t do your web in Flash because it will not be accessible’ or ‘Avoid PDF, because a blind person won’t be capable to read it’. Industries participant in the redaction of the new guidelines have adopted a tougher line protecting their products from legal barriers. So that’s why there is no mention to which technology is accessible and which not, because it depends on the way that they are used. E.G. You can use plain, strict XHTML but it is not well formatted, it wont be accessible. But if you create your website with Flash and all the accessibility features on, it will be accessible.

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