Accessibility tools: Manual testing

Manual accessibility testing is essential to make sure your website is accessible.

You can’t rely on automated testing. A GDS audit of automated tools found that out of 142 known accessibility issues, the best tools only found around 30 to 40 percent.

Accessibility Insights

Accessibility Insights is a Microsoft tool which is available as a browser plugin. It offers automated accessibility testing, but what sets it apart is the ability to guide you through a manual assessment.

The manual assessment feature of Accessibility Insights really sets it apart from other browser plugins, as we know from a GDS audit of automated tools, automated tools will not find everything and should not be relied upon.

The guided manual assessment will give you a better understanding of how accessible your website is, and it even provides a HTML report which can be downloaded and kept as evidence.

WebAim colour contrast checker

Large text needs a ratio of 3:1 and normal text needs a ratio of 4.5:1.

The minimum size to be considered ‘large text’ is 14 point if bold and 18 point if not.

Don’t get confused between point and pixels, they are not the same. A point is physical unit of length, and a pixel is a single dot on a screen. 1 point does not equal 1 pixel. 14 point is usually 19px and 18 point is usually 24px.

The WebAim colour contrast checker is a tool to make sure your colour combinations meet the right contrast ratios.

WebAim WCAG 2.1 checklist

The WebAim WCAG 2.1 checklist is their recommendations for implementing accessibility principles and techniques. It is not a replacement for WCAG 2.1, but it might help you understand some of the criteria in a simpler format.

The list covers all the criteria from A to AAA, and the ones which are highlighted represent the criteria which are new to 2.1 and weren’t in older versions of WCAG.