Web Accessibility Testing Guide

You Will Need:

Chrome Browser

JAWS Screen Reader

Download and install the trial version of JAWS (admin access required), and request JAWS Licensing to take it out of trial mode.

  • Slow the voice down: Options > Voice Adjustment > Rate
  • Temporarily pause voice: ESC
  • Toggle speech on and off: Insert + SPACE (together), then S (separately)

How To Test:

Check WAVE

For each page, click on the WAVE extension button in Chrome. This will give you a report on the left side of the page. Especially pay attention to:

  • Red flags (errors)
  • Yellow flags (warnings) - Warnings need manual check
  • Contrast errors

Important: WAVE will not always detect problems, especially if JavaScript is in use. Manual testing with a keyboard and a screen reader is necessary.

Test Keyboard Navigation

  • Tab through page. Can you see the keyboard focus with sufficient contrast?
  • Is the tab order logical?
  • Do you get lost anywhere on the page?
  • Make sure dropdown menus and any other controls work with TAB, Arrow Keys, and ENTER.
  • Image sliders: Can you use the controls with the keyboard?
  • Forms: Check tab order is logical, and that you can select items and submit using the keyboard.
  • Dialog boxes: Can you dismiss any dialog boxes?

Test Screen Reader Navigation

  • Start JAWS before opening the Chrome browser.
  • Tab through page and listen to make sure the descriptions match what you see.
  • Skip Navigation / Skip to Content link should be present and first.
  • Does Skip to Content actually go to main content? (Hit Enter, then Down Arrow to begin reading)
  • Check for headings (Insert F6) – should be outline of content, not links.
  • Use the headings list to navigate using arrow keys to a Heading level and hit enter. Then press down arrow to start reading content.
  • Check links list (Insert F7) to see if links make sense out of context.
  • Image sliders: Are the controls labeled descriptively? Does JAWS read the content on the slides? (Try down arrow if it doesn't start automatically)
  • Forms: Tab through and listen to see if form field labels match. Try submitting and make sure you get verbal notification of success or failure.
  • Dialog boxes: Listen to make sure you can hear the message, tab to any options, and dismiss with keyboard. See if keyboard focus returns to a logical location afterwards.


  • Check for accurate captioning with good contrast on the text.
  • Check that users can choose whether to start or stop the video.
  • Check that you can use the controls with the keyboard, and that they are labeled descriptively with JAWS.