How to Check if your Site is Accessible

Apologies for not posting during the past few months. We have been busy testing out different themes that advertise themselves as accessible. In the next few posts, we will write about the Karma theme developed by TrueThemes and a number of Pojo themes that we worked with.

When we started our journey into the world of accessible web development, Access Israel offered a free service where websites were reviewed for accessibility standards. Unfortunately, they no longer offer this service and they recommend that each web owner and webmaster check their own work or that they hire a blind or disabled person to check the site. At this time, Access Israel does not seem to recommend individuals or companies that can provide such a service.

Checking your own site

People with disabilities generally do not use a mouse to navigate the web, they use the tab and arrow keys or a screen reader that reads the text on the page to them. Tab through your site and see if a box appears around the link items. Also look at the status bar and see if the tab key gets stuck on any of the links. Did you get stuck along the way? If yes, then you now know what happens to a disabled user who is viewing your site.

Another recommendation to simulate a disabled user is to use a screen reader. The simplist way to check an English language site, is by using ChromeVox .  You can download this extension for Chrome for free from the Google app store.  Follow instructions on how to use this app and even close your eyes, while doing so, this will give you the experience of a blind user on your site.  You can also turn off the sound on your site – to feel how a deaf user experiences your website. Another free screen reader is NVDA which will work on any browser.

In my post Figuring out Accessibility, I list websites that can help you understand how to make your site accessible and explain more about accessiblity.

Any questions, please contact us.