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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
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Interview with Paul Boag from Boagworld

If you don’t know him yet, Paul Boag is a web standards and accessibility enthusiast from the UK who runs a very popular web site (blog, forum, and podcast). Paul is a founding partner of Headscape development company. He is speaking at the Refresh06 conference next month in Orlando, Florida.

Download Episode 31 (Interview with Paul Boag)


Photo of Paul Boag

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The Title Attribute

Dennis and Ross discuss the powerful “title” attribute including how it works, the benefits to accessibility, title vs. alt, SEO, and other cool uses.

Download Web Axe Episode 30 (The Title Attribute)

[Transcript of Web Axe 30]


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Interview with Author Christian Heilmann

Chris Heilmann is the author of Beginning JavaScript with DOM Scripting and Ajax: From Novice to Professional. He’s also a co-author of Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance. He’s writes an excellent blog Wait Till I Come and has contributed many articles in web development including several articles to A List Apart and SitePoint. He is also a member of the Web Standards Project.

Download Web Axe Episode 29 (Interview with Christian Heilmann)

Chris Heilmann

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Access Keys

Dennis and Ross discuss the access key attribute and how it benefits the user.

Download Web Axe Episode 28 (Access Keys)


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