There are several tools that simplify checking for accessibility. Check your documents and web content using the appropriate automated tools listed below.
Automated Testing Tools
Action Wizard - Acrobat DC
Click on Tools, then search for Action Wizard. Click on the Action Wizard icon to open the tool.
In the toolbar on the right, select Make Accessible.
Click on the Start button. Follow the prompts to fix items in the document. Click Close to return to the regular toolbar when finished.
Microsoft Office has a built-in tool that generates a report on the accessibility of a document. The tool is available in both Word and PowerPoint.
Note: The checker will not recognize “junk” alternate text, so it is still important to check images manually. Double-check that the alternate text is meaningful.
The Accessibility Checker is located under File > Info > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility.
UDOIT Accessibility Checker
UDOIT is a Canvas plugin that allows you to check for accessibility within an entire Canvas course and fix problems on the fly.
- UDOIT provides a short description of how and why to fix issues that it discovers. If you are not sure how to resolve an issue after UDOIT's explanation, please use the contact form to request further help.
- UDOIT is unable to scan inside of uploaded documents (e.g. Word, PDF, PPT). It is your responsibility to make sure any uploaded files are accessible.
Fixing a Sample Error with UDOIT
Click on the UDOIT link in your course navigation.
On the UDOIT page, click "Scan this course."
Once the results display, scroll down to a section that has errors, and expand the entry. Below is an example of an image without appropriate alternate text.
Click on "View the source of this issue" to see the image without having to go search for it in the course.
As you can see below, the alt text is the same as the filename. Filenames are often long strings of characters without meaning and don't explain the function of the image. It needs a short, meaningful description instead.
Click on "U FIX IT!" to fix the problem right here and now without having to navigate away.
In this case, a text box appears where you can type the description and then submit it. The change is now saved.
The WAVE tool is an automated checker that looks for potential accessibility issues on a webpage. The tool should be run on each page.
WAVE Tool: Summary Report
The first screen you see is a general report of all features that could affect accessibility on the page.
To look in more detail at report, click on the Flag icon. You can click on each flag to see where the potential problem is.
- Red flags (errors) - these require attention
- Yellow flags (alerts) - these require a manual check. The feature may not be a problem.
Click on the outline view icon to see the structure of the page. You should see an outline of the content with properly nested headings.
Click over to the contrast tab. Although color is important for visual appeal, it is necessary to adjust colors to eliminate these errors for users with low vision or color blindness.
Verifying Contrast – Solid Backgrounds
Installing the Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA)
When text is placed against a solid color background, we recommend you use the free Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) to determine whether the contrast ratio passes WCAG AA standards.
On the download page under Assets:
- For Mac, download the CCA-3.0.1.dmg file
- For Windows, download the CCA-Setup-3.0.1.exe file
Using the CCA
Use the eyedropper tool to select foreground and background colors. The results display immediately, showing either pass or fail for both AA and AAA standards. In the following example, we’ve run the CCA on a website designed with orange headings, gray text, and blue link text.
There is insufficient contrast between orange text and the white background. To find a different color with sufficient contrast, you can use the drop-down menu or insert hex codes. You would want to select a darker orange color from the drop-down color palette.
AA vs AAA
When we check the gray text against white background, the CCA shows mixed results. This color combination passes at the "AA" standard, but not the more stringent "AAA" standard, which is the goal for most university and public websites. A darker gray would be better.
Finally, we test the blue link text against the white background. This combination of colors fails both the “AA” and “AAA” standards for normal text sizes, as well as the “AAA” test for larger sizes. It passes only the “AA” standard for large text. A darker blue is required for universal readability.
Verifying Contrast – Photo or Gradient Backgrounds
The Paciello Group's Colour Contrast Analyser and the WAVE Tool both assume that text is placed against a solid background. They cannot always account for text placed on gradient backgrounds or images. In Chrome, you can use the Color Contrast Analyzer Extension, which evaluates a page exactly as it appears in the browser.
This tool repaints the page so that you can see the edges of the text, and discover which text fades into the background. If there is an item that is not outlined, then the item does not have sufficient contrast. The example below shows a before and after view of the extension. In the 'after' view, only the text that is outlined in white has sufficient contrast. You can see that the white text fades into the lighter areas of the background photo.