This page provides a list of tools and resources that support accessible web development. The list was compiled with input from developers across the University of Washington, and is a work in progress. The University of Washington has allowed the use of this list on the CU Denver and CU Anschutz's OIT website.
The DO-IT Center (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) at the UW has worked tirelessly since 1991 to increase the participation of individuals with disabilities in challenging academic programs and careers. In doing so DO-IT has developed a number of resources related to IT accessibility, including the resources listed below.
The tools listed in this section are all free and have been recommended by web developers at the UW who have experience developing accessible websites.
The W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 requires a specific contrast ratio between foreground and background colors. There are several tools available for measuring contrast:
Given the high level of interest in dynamic web programming among UW Web Developers, it is imperative that developers become familiar with accessibility standards, guidelines, and techniques, and apply them with developing web applications. Accessibility of dynamic web applications is dependent in large part on ARIA, the W3C’s draft specification for Accessible Rich Internet Applications. For additional information and resources related to ARIA see our ARIA for Web Applications page.
Also, the following tool enables developers to inspect the accessibility information that is being exposed by web browsers to the operating system through various accessibility APIs. This can be very helpful for gaining a deeper understanding of the accessibility of your website or application:
When testing web pages and IT products with assistive technologies, it is important to be aware that no two assistive technology (AT) products are alike. Developers are cautioned to use these tools only as an approximate gauge of accessibility. What seems to work perfectly in Product A may be inaccessible in Product B. Therefore, developers should resist the tendency to develop sites and applications that work with a particular AT product, and focus instead on developing sites that comply with standards.
Some assistive technology vendors provide demo versions of their products, some of which can be used indefinitely but time-out after a few minutes of operation. Product licenses vary as to whether using these demo versions is permissible for testing and development purposes.
Also, all major desktop operating systems are bundled with basic assistive technology utilities. For more information about these utilities in Windows and Mac OS X consult the accessibility sites at Microsoft, Apple.
In addition, the following free assistive technologies can be useful for testing web pages.