Accessibility testing tools

Here at The Paciello Group (TPG) we have a technical accessibility testing process which does not involve the use of automated tools. The technical audit results we provide to our clients are based solely on manual testing of a web site, web application or desktop application.

Typically, but not solely, we conduct technical testing in reference to the following accessibility standards:

More recently we have been starting to carry out experimental testing in reference to the Section 508 Refresh Standards (Formal title: Draft Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines).

To aid us in our manual testing process we use a number of tools and assistive technologies, the following is not a complete list of the tools we use, but these are the tools I currently use on a daily basis:

More Tools

I asked around the TPG virtual office (Skype group chat) and my colleagues Hans Hillen, Gez Lemon and Cedric Trevisan recommended some more notable and useful tools:


  1. We do not use assistive technology in our technical testing to carry out user testing, we leave that up to actual users of assistive technology, who we work with as part of our accessibility user testing process. But as technical testers we do use assistive technology to evaluate the data we gather. Assistive technology is an essential part of the process for understanding how the accessibility information provided in user interfaces is conveyed to users.
  2. The tools listed above are only the tools I use regularly, other accessibility engineers at TPG may use other tools.

About Steve Faulkner

Steven is the Senior Web Accessibility Consultant and Technical Director, TPG Europe. He joined The Paciello Group in 2006 and was previously a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at vision australia. He is the creator and lead developer of the Web Accessibility Toolbar accessibility testing tool. Steve is a member of several groups, including the W3C HTML Working Group and the W3C Protocols and Formats Working Group. He is an editor of several specifications at the W3C including HTML 5.1, Using WAI-ARIA in HTML and HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives. He also develops and maintains
This entry was posted in Accessibility, accessibility testing, Apple, Assistive Technology, contrast analyser, Firefox, Internet Explorer, JAWS, MSAA, NVDA, open source, VoiceOver, WCAG 2.0, Web Accessibility, Zoomtext. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Accessibility testing tools

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  4. roger says:

    Many thanks for this Steve, very useful as usual

  5. Ruth Ellison says:

    Very useful list Steve – thanks for posting.
    Windows inbuilt magnifier is also useful for those with no access to Zoomtext.

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  8. Dan C says:

    Nice overview, thanks for sharing. In addition, I’ve been finding that a speech input application such as NaturallySpeaking is also very valuable for testing accessibility — it is relevant to a large number of users who are often overlooked and sometimes exposes accessibility problems that are overlooked when using screen reading/magnification apps.

  9. Going Insane says:

    Hi Guys,

    I cannot find the download for inspect.exe – can someone please provide the link?

    Thank you.

  10. Gary Miller says:

    Thanks for such a comprehensive list.

    I use a few of those listed already and was aware of a few more, but you’ve listed several I’d not heard of before.


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  12. Karl says:

    Good list. There are some new tools on there I’ll definitely check out.

    I’m sure you’re aware of this and your copy is licensed, but just for clarity you can’t use the demo of JAWS for accessibility testing. Freedom Scientific license the demo purely for evaluation of the software, not for development purposes.

    From their EULA:

    “For example, these demonstration or evaluation licenses are not permitted for purposes of development and testing of JAWS scripts, applications, HTML coding, or other Web Based code.”

    • Steve Faulkner says:

      Hi Karl, yes I am aware, I am lucky enough to have a fully licensed copy. I am not advocating using JAWS against the EULA, if people do so, it is at their own risk.

  13. A pretty useful list of tools and I am with you in advocating completely manual testing.

    I was going to point out about JAWS demo not being usable for this but I see that it already has been.

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