Testing web accessibility with UI Accessibility Checker

I’ve worked in web accessibility for years and currently use the WAVE Evaluation Tool for Google Chrome to supplement manual checking but I wanted to see a visualisation of the accessibility “tree” so I installed the Windows 8.1 SDK and ran the AccChecker app acccheckui.exe.

You will have to enable accessibility mode in Google Chrome by navigating to chrome://accessibility and either turning on accessibility globally or just for the tabs you want to test.

Unfortunately for the Buffer team I just happened to pick them to try the UI Accessibility Checker with.

This is an image of part of the MSAA Tree tab after I’d run verification:

Screenshot of UI Accessibility Checker showing results for the web application Buffer.com

This isn’t really a tool for checking accessibility of web pages; the aforementioned WAVES is better for that.

But it does show in a hierarchical format how a screen reader or other operating system-level assisstive technology “sees” the structure of web pages as presented in this case by Google Chrome, which I think is interesting and possibly a little bit useful.

Here’s a screenshot also of the Buffer App (although the content had changed) tested with aViewer from the The Paciello Group. A similar tool although it shows more information including elements such as header and editable text and may be easier to read with the icons. I struggled to figure out how to use it effectively with the focus, cursor and marquee options but I’ll spend more time with it.

Screenshot of aViewer showing results for the web application Buffer.com

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