This is a companion for the web page Guidelines for Purchasers and focuses on how to do a simple evaluation of software accessibility.
Put Away Your Mouse—navigate with a keyboard only
Using just the tab, arrows, space bar, and return/enter keys, can you get to the important parts of a page like a menu and any dropdowns? What about buttons or the search field on the page?
As you are using the keyboard to navigate through the page, do you see any “focus indicators” letting you know where you are on the page? A focus indicator is a visual marker that shows you what element on a page has focus; it should be very obvious.
Brief instructions on how to navigate without using a mouse or trackpad.
Run a Lighthouse Report
Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. Install the Lighthouse browser extension and run a report.
Use High Contrast
Turn on high contrast mode to see if the page is legible for users with visual impairments.
High Contrast for Mac
- Open System Preferences
- Go to Accessibility
- Select Display from the left panel and then on the right check the box for Increase contrast. It reduces transparency in windows and makes the borders of buttons, tabs, and other items more legible. If increasing the contrast is too stark a change for you, then try checking the box for the setting right below it for Reduce transparency. It makes the semi-transparent headers of windows a solid gray.
High Contrast for Windows
- Press Windows logo key + U to open Ease of Access settings, then select High Contrast.
- Switch the toggle under Turn on high contrast to On. You'll be asked to wait a few seconds while your device adjusts.
- Under Choose a theme, select a high contrast theme from the drop-down menu, and then select Apply.
Turn Off Images
Without any images, can you still figure out what to do? Can you still understand what is happening and what you need to do?
One way to do this:
- Change the settings of Chrome. Other browsers have similar options
Check for captions or transcripts
What happens if you turn off sound for videos or audio files? How can you figure out what is going on? Is there a way to read captions? Are transcripts available?