W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

This page contains material related to a presentation at the Web Accessibility Best Practices Evaluation Training in Paris, France in July 2004. It is not intended to stand-alone; rather, it is primarily provided as reference material for participants in the training.

Scope of Training and Materials: This one-day training focused on select topics that were particularly suited to the circumstances of this specific hands-on training session. It did not to cover all aspects of evaluating Web accessibility, and did not cover all Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 checkpoints.
No Endorsement or Recommendation of Evaluation Tools: W3C/WAI does not endorse Web accessibility evaluation tools and does not recommend one tool over another. Some tools were listed, demonstrated, and used in activities in this training. Mention of a specific tool does not imply endorsement nor recommendation. WAI does provide a comprehensive list of Evaluation, Repair, and Transformation Tools for Web Content Accessibility.

Evaluating Web Accessibility

Shawn Lawton Henry, W3C WAI

Last updated: 15 July 2004

Demo: Quick Checks in 5 Minutes

WAI Resources


Goal-directed Evaluation

Purpose, Goals of the Evaluation

1. Selection

2. Thoroughness

Details in WAI Resource: Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility


Tips: Comprehensive Evaluation

Tip: Determine which features/functionality applicable

3. Reporting

Example Evaluation Situations and Parameters
Example Awareness, Outreach Consultant On-going Monitoring Planning, Training Benchmarking
Situation Encourage accessibility improvement Usability and accessibility consultant Existing accessible site
  • Planning
  • Training
Third-party conformance report for government benchmarking
Goal Highlight major accessibility problems Demonstrate excellence Confirm no new problems Determine main issues Data covering many sites
Page selection Important pages (to organization) All Web pages (small site) Spot checks, tool checks Samples pages, early prototypes


Thoroughness Preliminary Comprehensive Conformance Preliminary Probably select conformance
Reporting Encouraging, educating, referring Short, informal Minimal, informal
  • Executive summary
  • Plan of action
  • Details, examples, references
Evaluation Throughout Development
When/What Why
Requirements ensure that accessibility is included
Wireframes know what to watch for in development
Visual/graphic design things like color contrast
Early low- or medium-fidelity prototype/templates catch issues early, while there's time to make changes
Final prototype/templates, before replication catch all the details - don't want them propagated
Complete pages, QA check things that changed, make sure nothing slipped by

Evaluation Tools

Types of Tools


Tool Cautions

Evaluation Tools Need People

Resource: Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools Need People (not from W3C WAI)

Tool Tour


WAI Resources