Accessibility tools: Automated testing

Automated accessibility testing is an easy way to find obvious errors. It should always be a check you do against anything you build, but it is not enough to guarantee accessibility.

It is recommended to use multiple automated checkers, as each one might find errors others do not, and as they’re really quick to run it doesn’t add much overhead.

A GDS audit of automated tools found that out of 142 known accessibility issues, the best tools only found around 30 to 40 percent. So it is important to make sure you do manual testing also.

You can read more on how to do accessibility testing.

HTMLHint

HTMLHint is a HTML validator you can run from the command line. It will run against any URL your machine can access.

We have published guidance on how to validate HTML using HTMLHint.

W3C Markup Validation Service

W3C Markup Validation Service is a HTML validator you can run online. It will run against any public facing URL.

We have published guidance on how to validate HTML using the W3C HTML Markup Validation Service.

PA11Y

PA11Y is an automated tool which you can run in your acceptance tests. It integrates easily with axe-core and comes packaged with a headless browser.

We have published guidance on how to use the axe-core with PA11Y.

Axe-core

Axe-core is an automated tool which you can run in your acceptance tests. It is the engine which drives the Axe DevTools Chrome extension.

Axe-core can be programmed to check multiple pages and output any errors in bulk by pairing it with PA11Y or Selenium.

We have published guidance on how to use the axe-core with PA11Y and how to use axe-core with Selenium.

ARC Toolkit

ARC Toolkit is a Chrome extension.

It will find different things to Axe DevTools and Wave so you should run all 3.

We have published guidance on how to use the ARC Toolkit.

Axe DevTools

Axe DevTools is a Chrome extension.

It will find different things to the ARC Toolkit and Wave so you should run all 3.

We have published guidance on how to use Axe DevTools.

Wave

Wave is a Chrome extension created by WebAim.

It will find different things to the ARC Toolkit and Axe DevTools so you should run all 3.

We have published guidance on how to use Wave.