We all know that automated testing tools are not the be all and end all when it comes to assessing a site’s accessibility. Nonetheless, they’re a useful tool in the accessibility conscious developer’s arsenal, provided that their results are cross-checked and complemented by all the necessary manual checks.
In that vein, here’s a little gem that I recently stumbled across (via a news item over on Barriere Kompass):
TAW3 is a free tool to test web pages against WCAG 1.0, developed by the Fundación CTIC. It is available both as an online version (which only offers a basic, single page check) and as a powerful stand-alone java application for a variety of platforms (Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris, among others).
The application seems very stable, and has a good number of useful features, including:
- the ability to follow links, enabling developers to spider all of a site’s pages up to a defined depth;
- customisable checklists, to specifically omit certain test or to only test for a subset of WCAG checkpoints;
- assisted “visual checking”, where the tool generates custom versions of the current page with potential problems marked for assessment;
- dialogs that allow testers to record the results of manual checks (pass/fail/not tested/not applicable);
- export results to HTML summaries and full EARL reports.
This type of functionality is very impressive, considering that the tool is made available completely free of charge. Download TAW3 accessibility testing and reporting tool.