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Indiana University

Recommended Web Development Accessibility Tools

Reviewers use the following web development accessibility tools regularly and would recommend them for use in creating web accessible content.

Color Contrast Analyzer

Description
It is primarily a tool for checking foreground & background color combinations to determine if they provide good color visibility. It also contains functionality to create simulations of certain visual conditions such as color blindness. Determining "colour visibility" is based on two sets of algorithms: Luminosity Contrast Ratio and Color Difference and Brightness Difference, suggested by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Reviewer Comments
This downloadable tool allows you to Check the contrast between foreground and back ground. Unfortunately it is in a zipped file format which may cause problems for users. The tool has three options for selecting the color to compare; drop down list, hex text input or eye drop color picker similar to Photoshop. In addition once colors are picked the software has the option to show you results adjusted for certain eye conditions. The current version is 2.0.

Contrast Ratio Calculator

Description
The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 recommends that web pages provide a minimum luminosity contrast ratio of 5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for large text (14pt bold or 18pt normal or larger).
Reviewers Comments
A contrast comparison tool that can produce the contrast ratios for almost all of the web safe colors.

CSS Validator

Description
Validates CSS style sheets or documents using CSS style sheets.
Reviewer Comments
A crucial tool because it validates the CSS style sheets attached to the chosen page against the W3C standards.

Fangs

Description
Fangs is a Mozilla Firefox extension that displays a text representation of a web page, simulating the manner in which it might be read by a screen-reader. This may aid web developers in finding accessibility issues at an early stage in the UI development process.
Reviewers Comments
Fangs takes some work to install. Once installed, it gives you a good view of how headings look in a page and the list of links available. This could be a useful tool for developers.

Juicy Studio Color Contrast Analyzer

Description
The Analyzer enables foreground and background color combinations to be tested against the suggested luminosity contrast ratio algorithm.
Reviewers Comments
Quick tool to use for comparison of two colors. This allows a user to put in two colors to analyze. The color contrast analyzer only examines the difference between foreground and background colors for text elements; it does not detect scenarios where text is written over the top of a background image or dynamic changes.

Macaw

Description
Macaw is a free program that helps in adding text tracks to QuickTime video. Versions are available for both Mac and Windows platforms.
Reviewers Comments
This is a good tool for those working with QuickTime video. The tool allows viewing a movie and the transcript for the movie. Click on a button to add timing to the text file where the captions would enter the movie.

Media Access Generator (MAGpie)

Description
MAGpie is a free JAVA-based application for creating captions and audio descriptions for QuickTime, Real and Windows Media content. MAGpie is available for use on both the Windows and Mac OS X platforms.
Reviewers Comments
Nice tool for captioning video.

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