Accessibility development and evaluation tools

When it comes to finding software to help build and evaluate an accessible Web site, there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

There is a range of software for developing different types of Web content, such as graphs and images, and for maintaining a site's compliance with the accessibility law, said Martin Gould, senior research specialist with the National Council on Disability. Each tool presents a different level of examination and guidance.

"It may be that even though they are all calibrated to [Section] 508, it may or may not be the case that they all do the same thing," Gould said. The key is finding the right tool to meet an agency's needs, he added.

Macromedia Inc.'s Dreamweaver MX and SSB Technologies Inc.'s InSight are widely used tools for developing accessible sites, experts said. Other tools include SSB Technologies' InFocus, which automatically tests and finds areas that need repairs, and the Center for Applied Special Technology's Bobby, which guides automatic and manual evaluation and tests for browser compatibility. USA Services initiative leaders use much of the software, including the JAWS screen reader for Microsoft Corp. Windows by Freedom Scientific and Crunchy Technologies' PageScreamer, General Services Administration officials said.

IBM Global Services Inc. officials recently introduced new software, called Caption Me Now, that makes Webcasts and audio materials accessible. The tool automatically captions the audio on the user's command. The alternative is relying on costly stenographers or letting the audio go unheard, IBM officials said.

"The on-demand concept makes sure it's available when you need it, but it doesn't put the burden on the creator" to provide captioning for all the audio on the site, said Sara Basson, program manager for accessibility services at IBM Global Services.

The World Wide Web Consortium provides a detailed list of tools for site evaluation and repair at www.w3c.org.

Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group