Website accessibility checkers or ADA website compliance checkers these are more appropriately referred to as automated scans or automated accessibility scans.
And so what they do is they’re automated tools and they detect accessibility issues but the way they work is they use if-this, then-that rules.
Accessibility checkers or ADA website compliance checkers are basically -they’re better referred to as an accessibility scan and an accessibility scan is an automated scan that detects accessibility issues, but they’re not conclusive.
And that’s the most important take away from this video is that and a scan is the start and it’s a very good start- it helps shortcut the process it helps reduce human error in in manual audits and they’re very, very quick but they’re not conclusive.
You can’t take the scan results, get the scan to show 0 errors and then think that your website is accessible because that doesn’t mean that it’s accessible it just means that it passes the scan.
So a scan can return false negatives and that’s very, very important because it means there’s an accessibility and accessibility issue still exists whereas none is showing through automation what’s important to know about the automated side is that this is this is simply a software that’s going through using if-this, then-that statement and if there is something in the code where it can automatically- it can automatically jump to the conclusion that there’s an error there’s something missing or if there’s something inappropriately assigned, etc., then it will return an error.
But while that is an excellent shortcut and that is a way to find accessibility issues, it doesn’t find all of them even of the even of the accessibility issues that it can flag moreover there are still many more accessibility issues to take into account that the scan does not catch.
But what is important is that scans are used by several law firms as a way to create the basis for their claims that there are accessibility issues so law firms will use them it doesn’t mean that they don’t use other things but they do incorporate scans and we’ve seen them use time and time again.
Scans are very simple and easy to use and that’s why so many people focus in on them, but there is much more to accessibility than just the scan.
Now what are the differences between the different scans?
There’s actually not too much of a difference between most of the scans some of the scans are more basic and other of the scans are going to include more accessibility issues and maybe they don’t a lot of times they don’t flag the entire accessibility issue as it pertains to a WCAG success criterion but it will it will be like a partial flag.
So the best scan is the Web Accessibility Evaluation tool or WAVE tool by webaim.org but there are other scans such as the Google Lighthouse is one and it’s based on the- Google lighthouse is really a subset based on AXE Core that is developed by Deque.
And there’s another scan called Power Mapper, there there’s all sorts of scans they’re all over the place.
And like I said they’re not most of them aren’t that different from one another.
The best one to me is not the one that catches the most issues, but it’s the one that is highly accurate it’s worked on it’s very popular it’s used by plaintiffs lawyers is the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, WAVE tool and I’ll put a link to that below.
Now scans are free for the most part. If you want to scan entire website, it does cost more you really don’t need to scan an entire website.
What you need to do is scan individual pages because scanning an entire website is like is getting far, far ahead of yourself because just remediating one page is going to take you awhile.
So you will need to focus in on that one page and then move to the next one and then apply any issues that are found you can apply those globally to any pages that are on the same template.
So let’s just, for example, let’s say you have a product page if you take and scan that product page all of the issues that are found are likely to be found in your other product pages that are built on the same template so that is one important thing to keep in mind you don’t need to have a full website scan and constant monitoring really.
I mean while, it’s like, it’s- it’s nice to have it’s really not necessary because if you make a change to a page then you would want to make sure that changes accessible when you make it now I would scan it if as soon as I released it but that can all be done at the one-to-one level.
You don’t need to have a 24 hour scan going – it’s one of those things that’s nice in theory, but, in practice, it’s really not necessary so WebAIM is completely free you can go there and and run a scan on any URL it only takes a few seconds and then if you want to check more URLs again it just takes a few more seconds then you’ll have the results for all of those.
So if you’re looking for an accessibility checker I recommend WebAIM.
Of course, there are other ones you can use axe core is more for developers but just know that if you’re looking for a website accessibility checker these are not conclusive they are more something that is used to give you an idea.
I use them all the time to get an instant feel for the accessibility of a web page, but is not something where I can conclusively say oh this website is even if it has zero errors it doesn’t mean that the web pages accessible, it just merely means that the scan is returning 0 errors.
There could be false negatives a lot of times, they’re not a lot of times but it it’s fairly regular occurrence that there is a false negatives of course it’s very it’s possible there’s a false positive that that’s more rar, but it does happen on occasion but really that’s all getting to these are only a starting point they’re an excellent starting point they do have several advantages and benefits but they are not anything that you wouldn’t want to definitively rely upon.