Accessibility Testing

The Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Web Accessibility strategy includes an enterprise level automated testing tool that campus staff use to conduct automated scanning and supports manual evaluation with a browser based tool and remediation resources.

Automated testing for web accessibility issues has both benefits and inherent limitations. Manual testing when combined with automated testing provides a comprehensive approach to accessibility evaluation within an enterprise level environment. For more information on available automated testing solutions, please visit the Web Accessibility Tools section.

Benefits of using automated testing:

  • Accurately and reliably identifies certain types of accessibility barriers across a large web domain
  • Clearly defined heuristics identify real barriers while generating as few false positives as possible
  • Develop baseline levels of accessibility and track improvements over time
  • Supports conformance testing using specific Accessibility standards (e.g. Section 508, WCAG 2.1)
  • Allows easily identified accessibility barriers to be caught early in the web development process


  • Automated testing cannot evaluate the accessibility of items that require human subjectivity (e.g. alternate text may be present, but a human has to determine if is it meaningful, accurate)
  • Automated testing can only identify about 25% of possible barriers

Quick manual testing

There may be times when a quick check will provide enough information to inform further decision making towards the use of accessible technology. The quick manual checks listed below provide an organized approach to quickly review an application. 

Keyboard access and visual focus

Enlargement of content without loss of function

Structural Navigation

Alternative Text for images

Multimedia equivalents

As technology evolves and new devices are developed, consideration must be given to the adaptability of content to be displayed and manipulated seamlessly.

The Mobile Accessibility at World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) This link will take you to an external website in a new tab. page provides developers with many important resources including technical guidelines, research reports, and implementation projects.