Home / Accessibility Tools / An Expert Review of the Top Five Accessibility Checkers
Danny Trichter
Author
Hina Ilyas
Researcher
#accessibilitychecker #webaccessibility
October 22, 2021
5 minutes

An Expert Review of the Top Five Accessibility Checkers

Prioritizing inclusivity and website accessibility is imperative in business.

The most important step in your journey to attaining ADA compliance is auditing your website. Several platforms are available to help you carry out a website audit and generate a detailed report.

In this article, we’ll discuss the top accessibility checkers that you can use to achieve ADA compliance and avoid unecessary lawsuits.

If you want to know more about accessibility checkers, continue reading!

In this article, we will discuss

  1. What are Accessibility Checkers - Why Do You Need Them?
  2. The Top 5 Most Reputable Accessibility Checkers - All you need to know
  3. Top Accessibility Checkers At A Glance - How they compare?
  4. Summary - Wrapping up!

What are Accessibility Checkers and Why Do You Need Them?

Accessibility checkers have been helping businesses meet accessibility guidelines for close to a decade. Now you can quickly identify accessibility issues on your website so that users with disabilities can enjoy the content, products, and services you’ve created.

Besides this, below are other reasons why you need an accessibility checker:

Accessibility checkers serve as the starting point for ADA compliance.

Say you’ve gone through the guidelines, standards, and best practices included in the W3C recommendations. You’ve even read the very detailed technical material. But, where do you even start?

In this case, an accessibility checker is key to making sure your site is compliant and accessible to everyone.

The core function of these tools is to perform an audit of your website and send a report.

An accessibility checker helps cut down on the time it takes to recognize accessibility issues. They help you determine issues that prevent differently-abled people from accessing your website.

Additionally, you can access them for free or sign up for a paid service that will tailor the checker to your needs.

An accessibility checker helps you detect issues before they become problems.

Automated accessibility checkers can help you identify accessibility issues on your site before they become bigger problems.

Depending on the checker you use, it’ll alert you to new issues and how they can be fixed. This way, you can help differently-abled people access your website more easily.

The Top 5 Most Reputable Accessibility Checkers

1. Accessibility Checker

Accessibility checker #2

Accessibility Checker is the top website accessibility checker at the moment. It’s a free service that enables you to audit your website easily, scanning your website’s code to determine accessibility issues.

Additionally, this accessibility checker checks your site for global accessibility issues, ensuring that it meets WCAG 2.1 level AA compliance.

It also checks websites for compliance with local standards and regulations. Enjoy complete peace of mind with its detailed and accurate report.

It even includes detailed explanations and recommended solutions to help you track your website’s accessibility deficiencies and fix them.

How It Works
  • To use Accessibility Checker, you have to go to the website and enter the URL you want to audit.
  • The site allows you to choose legislation depending on where you are in the world.
  • After these steps, you get a detailed website accessibility report. It includes explanations and recommendations to solve any accessibility issues that arise.

Checking the accessibility of your website is a big step towards making your website inclusive. Start by evaluating the accessibility of your website at Accessibility checker

2. Wave

WAVE website accessibility checker review

The WAVE website accessibility checker is a simple tool that will tell you whether your site’s pages are accessible to differently-abled people.

WebAIM is a non-profit organization that aims to make web content accessible to all. They have developed a variety of accessibility features so that all people can access web content.

This accessibility checker is available as a browser extension, which means you can check for issues on any site as your browse.

WebAIM also offers the WAVE API, a paid application that you can use to schedule and automate your site’s accessibility checks.

Additionally, this API allows you to check for accessibility at custom viewport sizes and it provides authentication to check if a page behind a login is secure.

How It Works
  • You can either enter a URL on their website or download the extension. Choose the extension if you need to audit dynamic, password-protected, and locally-stored web pages.
  • The program displays an overlay of error icons on your website’s elements that have accessibility issues.
  • Whenever you click on one of these icons, you will see the details of that issue.
  • This will take you to the “troublesome” code via annotated HTML, which you will find at the bottom of the screen.

3. IBM Accessibility Toolkit

IBM Accessibility Toolkit

The IBM Accessibility Toolkit allows developers and testers to embed accessibility directly into their workflow. It’s an open-source accessibility toolkit that offers resources for app and website accessibility.

The IBM Equal Access Toolkit provides guidelines that bring equal access to all team members creating an enterprise offering.

Its accessibility checker is a browser extension that enables developers and auditors to evaluate web-based components or solutions for accessibility issues.

Additionally, the IBM website accessibility toolkit also offers guidance through each stage of development and tests automation.

How It Works
  • The simplest way to use the IBM accessibility checker is to install the extension on your browser. After installation, all you have to do is run it on your website.
  • It returns results in seconds, where it displays the website at the top of the browser. You’ll also find raw source code at the bottom left of the page.
  • The bottom right half shows you the website elements that have accessibility issues.

4. AChecks

AChecks accessibility checker

AChecks provides you with WCAG 2 AA reports across your websites, helping you easily monitor and report on your AODA and ADA compliance.

This tool has several features like checking multiple domains, page limits, and even site hierarchy. AChecks also provides a dashboard, which gives you access to web analytics.

Like other website accessibility checkers, this tool also has a report summary that gives you the summary of the issues on your site.

How It Works
  • Since AChecks is a paid service, you have to sign up to get its features. They have three options, which are Basic, Single, and Full.
  • The dashboard shows your audit results, including the site’s accessibility and performance.

5. Pa11y

Pa11y accessibility checker

Pa11y is a tool for accessibility testing that helps ensure your website is accessible to everyone.

If you want to see pa11y reports but can’t code, koa11y is for you! This desktop app creates a slick, easy-to-use interface for pa11y commands.

Pa11y is a free, open-source application, which means anyone can use it. Whether you have a small budget or just want to learn more about machine learning, Pa11y has what you need.

How It Works
  • The first thing to do is install the pa11y core package, which gives you access to the pa11y command.
  • The package lets you run an accessibility audit on a specific website by running a command.
  • Whenever you run this command, the output is sent directly to your terminal. It contains every single error that your website has.

For an in-depth tutorial on how to use pa11y, you can read this guide.

Top Accessibility Checkers At A Glance

Pricing Usability Features Popularity Format Support
Accessibility Checker ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Wave ★★★★ ★★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★
IBM Accessibility Toolkit ★★★★★ ★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★
AChecker ★★ ★★★ ★★★★★ ★★ ★★★
Pa11y ★★★★★ ★★★ ★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★

To Sum Up!

The list of the top 5 accessibility checkers discussed above will help you decide which tool is right for you. You can even use multiple checkers based on your needs.

These checkers are easy to use, give you simple directions, and provide you with detailed reports.

But remember, these tools and resources cannot solely and completely determine accessibility and can only assist you in doing so.

If you found our guide helpful, read our other posts about ADA compliance!

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