Useful Accessibility Resource Web Sites


The Department of Commerce neither recommends nor endorses any of the products or services listed below. They are merely some of the many available resources which may be helpful to Web developers attempting to make their Web sites fully accessible. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. Users should note that they should not download or install software without first clearing it with their support desk and, if appropriate, security personnel. Also, this page contain links that will take you outside of the WAG Webresources website, please review the Privacy Notice of these sites as their information collection practices may differ from ours.


The list is grouped into categories as follows:

Accessibility and HTML Testing Tools and Checklists

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

Home page of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C's) accessibility project; extensive set of links to accessibility tools and resources, including guidelines, checklists, and techniques.

WC3 HTML Validation Service

World Wide Web Consortium's HTML Validator.


Web based tool that analyzes the accessibility of your web pages by checking them against the W3C's authoring checklist.

The Wave

The Wave is an accessibility testing tool that applies human-like judgment (e.g. "Does this ALT text provide a functional equivalent for this image?" "Does this reading order make sense?"). It displays the ALT text of images and areas on the page for comparison with the images, provides numbered arrows to show the linearized reading order, and shows the HTML equivalent (if any) provided for applets.


WebMetrics is a NIST project developed to facilitate the evaluation and the usability of web sites. Version 2.0 of the NIST WebMetrics Tool Suite was released in October, 2000. The upgrades include: Analysis of whole sites instead of single pages by WebSAT, instrumentation to capture all user interaction (e.g. key presses) by WebVIP, and a PC version of VISVIP.

Doctor HTML

Web page analysis tool which retrieves an HTML page and reports on problems it finds. The focus of this tool is to provide information relevant to improving your Web page.

Web Design and Usability Information

Examples from the WAI Web Content Accessibility Curriculum

Examples showing how to implement image maps, scripts, frames, multimedia, and other common web design features in accessible ways

Use of ALT Tags in IMGs

Thoughtful guidance for how to write ALT tags. The "howlers" section is especially good.

Adobe Accessibility Resources for PDF files

Information that may help to make some PDF files more accessible.

ALA Editions - Open Stacks - Inside the Covers

Online Version of "Adaptive Technology for the Internet: Making Electronic Resources Accessible to All," by Barbara T. Mates. As with any book on this subject, parts of it are becoming outdated, but there are some good chapters on basic document design, accessible technology, e.g. what a screen reader does, and topics like "making sounds visual".

Links to Section 508 federal requirements, accessibility guidelines, tools, articles, and software; links to general resources; links to standards. A usable site.

Web Access Tools

A good list of access tools. Just one part of "Designing More Usable Web Sites" from the University of Wisconsin. See also their section on "Selected Resources on Disability and Web Use" for the material on color blindness.

Making Accessible Tables

A simple illustration of how to associate table headers with table cells as required by Rule 1194.22(g). Also, visit "Top 10 Accessible Web Authoring Practices," a sub-page of

National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

Runs projects dealing with issues of access associated with online multimedia. NCAM also works with major software and hardware manufacturers, the Federal government and others to disseminate technology, techniques and information to make the Web more accessible.

WebTools for Graphics & Design: Building Web Pages For Disabled Users

Contains useful information and links to tools to building accessible Web pages.

The Accessible Web Author's Toolkit

Tools to assist Web author, including networked and local evaluation tools, correction and repair utilities, WYSIWYG and "raw HTML" editors, and specialized browsers for testing purposes.

Laws and Regulations

Access Board Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards

These regulations are the foundation for the Department's Web accessibility standard.

Assistive Technologies

JAWS and MAGic Software

Jaws,a leading Web assistive technology tool for individuals with vision disabilities and MAGic software that offers screen magnification that features a low vision speech option.

Window Eyes

A leading Web assistive technology tool for individuals with vision disabilities.

Information on Color-Blindness and Color Palettes


Resources for Web design for the color-blind, including color charts to help the non-color-blind see what the color-blind see. Also tools (charts, reference lists, articles) for using the 216 "Web safe" palette.

Color palettes

Safe Web colors for color-deficient vision.


See how your page looks to the color-blind.

How-To Lists

Top 10 Accessible Web Authoring Practices

Just what it says. A sub-page of

Department of Justice Guidance

This is a questionnaire for Federal agencies that includes explanation of the rules. Don't miss the appendices with detailed how-to information.

Tips and Techniques for Accessible Web Authoring

Links to "how to" articles on accomplishing certain tasks related to accessible web authoring.

Browsers and Browser-Specific Information


A text-only browser. Lynx lets you see how your pages look in a text-only environment.


Used by the W3C to demonstrate and test many of the new developments in Web protocols and data formats. It is versatile, extensible, and available on both Unix and Windows '95/NT platforms. While probably not the perfect browser for the average surfer, Amaya is a useful tool for developers because it adheres strictly to HTML standards.


A full screen thin-client graphical Web browser, currently available for DOS compatible operating systems and for Linux/SVGAlib platform. Arachne needs only 8M RAM and should install on a 386 or higher. The download is only 529k which means you can easily install from a single floppy disk.


A thin-client browser that runs under Microsoft Windows on any IBM PC with a 386SX chip or better.


A browser written completely in Java, which means that it will run on any platform that supports Java. Its biggest drawback is that you have to wait for the entire page to download before you can view anything.


Probably the most popular alternative browser. Compatible with Windows-based systems. Supports JavaScript. Does not have any native Java support.

Netscape Navigator

A leading all-purpose Internet browser. Good for testing whether your pages are readable by the mass audience.

Internet Explorer

A leading all-purpose Internet browser. Good for testing whether your pages are readable by the mass audience.

Department of Commerce Web Advisory Council (WAC)
U.S. Department of Commerce

Send questions and comments about this page to
Page last updated November 22, 2010