Standard accessibility testing tools can only highlight a small number of the issues with your site.
MAWD combines the best of both worlds by using automated tests wherever possible and then requiring your input for the tricky stuff.Try MAWD Free
Several years ago, as a web developer, I was tasked with making a website WCAG AA compliant.
I popped the URL of the site into an online checking tool to see how screwed I was.
Little warning icons pinged across the screen, picking out an image missing alt text or unlabelled form control.
Okay, cool. I tinkered around for a bit, these things are easy to sort out. Can't really put it into QA on the basis of a single online checking tool though, so I opened up the WCAG guidelines.
Oh wow, so there are... a lof of criteria to meet. And most of them are pretty complicated. Honestly I could spend days just figuring out what to do with all my form validation.
There are 23,000 words in the WCAG "Quick" Reference List. Good thing developers love to read documentation...
The guidelines are written in such a way that hardly any of them can be tested automatically. That's not in itself a bad thing, but it means that the rest have to be tested by us and well, we need to know what we're doing.
I eventually muddled my way through the guidelines and convinced QA to accept that the site was accessible. I'm not sure to this day how much of it actually was.
A couple of years ago, I started creating MAWD, a new type of accessibility testing tool. MAWD uses automated checking as much as it can, but then asks you specific questions to fully assess whether a WCAG criterion is met. It explains what you're checking for and why.
Its driven by a complex decision engine. so it only asks you questions that are necessary, based on the HTML and also your responses to previous questions.
The report you're left with highlights all the issues found and crucially, how on earth you're supposed to fix them. Simple as that!
MAWD is designed to pick up 100% of the issues with a site, but she needs your help to do it.
Every issue reported by MAWD includes an explanation of how it will affect users, and some suggestions for how you can fix it.
4 WCAG criteria fully tested
22 different tests
Test up to 3 sites
Unlimited pages per site
Printable reports with instructions to fix issues
One month free trial, no need for payment details up-front