Accessibility Tip of the Week

Making accessibility simpler.

It takes five minutes.

Once a week, in your inbox, you'll get a simple but effective accessibility tip. It's simple enough that you can start implementing it within your organization during the week. And there's an overview at the beginning to provide a quick summary.

Check out our most recent Tip of the Week below. Fill out the registration form to sign up. It's completely free and we will not sell or share your data. If you prefer, you can also subscribe via RSS .

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Our most recent tip.

Before you buy (part three)...

  • Summary: Run a quick accessibility spot check.
  • Who it helps: Your employees and customers with disabilities.
  • Additional benefits: Buying accessible up front saves your organization time and money in the long run.

When you buy a website, software, platform or other digital service, it is important to include accessibility as a requirement for that purchase. The third step on your way to an accessible purchase is to run a spot check to verify accessibility.

What you should spot check depends on what you are purchasing. If you are buying software that already exists or picking a platform to build on, you can test the software itself. If you are getting a custom website or other custom content, ask to see a previous accessible example that vendor built. If no other option is available, test the website of the vendor you are considering.

How to run a digital spot check.

Pick 2-3 pages or areas to try out. We recommend picking the main page, a form, and a specialty function or area.

  1. Test the keyboard accessibility. Start with the focus at the top (the url for a web page). Then don’t touch the mouse. You should be able to do everything with a keyboard that you can do with a mouse.
    • Move the focus forward with the tab key.
    • Use the enter key to activate links and buttons.
    • Use the arrow keys to navigate in menus.
    • Use the spacebar to select items.
    • Use the escape key to close popups and drop down menus.
  2. If you are evaluating a web page or web app, enter the URL into WebAIM’s Wave .
    • Ideally, you should receive 0 errors.
  3. Strip the view of color. Is everything still readable and understandable?
    • Option 1: If its a webpage, while you are using the WebAim Report, you can go to Contrast > Desaturate Page to view the page in grayscale.
    • Option 2: Install Color Oracle and use it to view the page in grayscale.
    • Option 3: Take a screen capture and look at a print preview in grayscale
  4. Increase the magnification/zoom and see if the content remains usable.
    • On a webpage, zoom to 400% by holding the control key down and hitting the plus (+) key. The magnification shows to the right of the URL.
    • On a phone, go to the accessibility settings and increase the icon and text size.
    • For a desktop application, increase the icon and text size using the operating system accessibility settings.
  5. Change the color scheme and see if the content remains usable.
    • In accessibility settings on your phone or desktop, change the color scheme to dark mode.

If the spot check is relatively clean, that’s a good sign that the vendor takes accessibility seriously.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0    .

If you are promoting accessibility within your organization or community, sending out easy-to-understand tips can be a helpful addition to your strategy. You are welcome to share the tips here under the mentioned Creative Commons license, as long as you cite Accessible Community as your source.