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.

WAVE Summary

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.

WAVE red and yellow flags

Outline View

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.

WAVE outline view

Contrast Tab

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.

WAVE Tool contrast error report

To navigate with a keyboard, use the TAB, ENTER, and Arrow Keys. Use ESCAPE to close items without selecting.

  • Test all of the interactive elements by tabbing through each 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 & video: 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?
  • 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). This should be like a Table of Contents, not links.
  • Use the headings list to navigate using arrow keys to a Heading level and hit enter. Then press the down arrow to start reading content.
  • Check links list (Insert F7) to see if links make sense out of context.
  • Image sliders & video: 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.
  • Is navigation is consistent and logical throughout the site?
  • Is there plenty of white space on each page?
  • Do colors have sufficient contrast?
  • Is color ever the sole means of conveying information? (It should not be.)
  • Are font, zoom, and other visual customizations allowed by the user?
  • Is content scalable at high levels of zoom?
  • Do all audio files have links to transcripts?
  • Do all videos have synchronized, accurate captions?
  • Do audio or video allow the user to control when to start and stop playing?
  • Are manual controls available for audio and video?