aria roundup toolbar tools

Tools & Code Examples for ARIA Development

Here are some good tools, code examples, and other resources for developing with WAI-ARIA. Know any other good recent ones?


Code Examples


screenreader testing toolbar webaim

Screen Reader Survey and New WAVE

Can’t go too long without mentioning WebAIM. They’ve recently made two more important announcements.

Screen Reader Survey

Survey of Preferences of Screen Readers Users
Here are a couple quotes from the article which sum up all the excellent data from the survey:

Perhaps the most significant conclusion we can make from these survey results is that there is no typical screen reader user.

In general, these results suggest that following accessibility guidelines and standards, using technologies that support high levels of accessibility, and providing users with options is of the highest importance.

New WAVE (not the music!)

WAVE (web accessibility evaluation tool) is updated. Below is a brief summary of changes. For more, visit New WAVE Version Released.

  • Simplified and streamlined user interface.
  • Significantly re-engineered back-end framework.
  • Support for internationalization. Initial translations will be provided in coming months.
  • Several new WAVE rule

PS: A WAVE Firefox toolbar is also available.

testing toolbar webaim

WAVE Translation Project

In the blog post WAVE Translation Project Begins, our friends at WebAIM have announced the start of a project to translate their web accessibility toolbar WAVE into several languages beginning with Spanish.

You can help by doing one (or more!) of the following:

  • Improve translation of the WAVE feedback.
  • Improve the accuracy of WAVE rules.
  • Improve the translation of the WAVE site and toolbar.
  • Identify WAVE bugs and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Spread the word.
  • Be ready for translation into other languages.

Participate in The Helen Project

You can now use a free toolbar application to rate web sites on web accessibility. The toolbar is part of The Helen™ Project, hosted by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). The project is in a public beta so AFB is asking for feedback. All internet users, especially people with disabilities, are welcome to use the toolbar.

From the AFB:

We offer you a free downloadable, fully accessible, web site rating toolbar application (which we affectionately named “Helen™”) that will enable you to have your voice heard as you experience problems and/or success in using any web site. And, most importantly, Helen™ will enable the collective voice of the user community to be heard by web site providers…

If you are already a registered user of, you are ready to participate. Simply download the Helen Toolbar Application. Not a registered user? Register with and The Helen™ Project for free.

podcast testing toolbar web

Podcast #32: Testing for Web Accessibility

All about testing for web accessibility — the tools, methods, hows and whys.
Download Episode 32 (Testing for Web Accessibility)
[Transcript for Web Axe 32]



  • (Generally) Follow guidelines by WCAG, WebAIM, Accessify, this podcast
  • Follow any guidelines required by law (ADA, Section 508, DDA [UK])
  • Ensure multimedia and PDF are accessible
  • Use web standards
  • What CANNOT be tested by most automated tools:
    • Color contrast
    • Simple language
    • Tab order (tabindex) [tabindex no longer recommended]


  • Automated tools
  • Review site with keyboard only
  • Review site with screenreader, if available
  • Have impaired users test your site
  • Headings used appropriately


Cynthia Says
  • by HiSoftware
  • Returns long table, listed by checkpoint, if web page passed that checkpoint or not
  • Select WCAG levels or Section 508
  • Included in Firefox Developer Toolbar
  • Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto
  • Computer application–Windows only
  • Performs automatic repairs
  • Select WCAG levels or Section 508
Watchfire WebXACT
  • Used to be known as Bobby
  • Besides accessibility checks, it gives:
    • Page download size
    • Metadata summary
    • Broken links
    • Browser compatibility
Firefox Web Developer Toolbar
  • turn on/off CSS
  • validate XHTML and CSS
  • disable javascript
  • hide images, display alt tags
  • resize browser
  • edit CSS
  • much, much more!
Accessibility Toolbar
  • IE only
  • validate XHTML and CSS
  • resize browser
  • toggle javascript, images/alt
  • heading structure
WAVE from WebAIM
Lynx viewer
  • by Yellowpipe Internet Services
  • Just enter URL and give your Lynx text-only rendering
  • Also can download and install Lynx application
  • “User Mode” with text browser emulator and more
  • Easily turn off images
  • Screen sizing
Firefox Speech Browser Extensions
Mobile Web Emulators