New Tools from the CPD Allow Site-wide Web Accessibility Evaluation (UT UCEDD/LEND)

March 26, 2018

WebAIM has long set the standard for web accessibility, and its WAVE tool has made it possible for people everywhere to find out whether a web page is usable for people with disabilities. Now, new options make it possible to use WAVE across an entire website. "The online version of WAVE and the browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are and always will be free," said Jared Smith, associate director of WebAIM and a developer of the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool. But the new license options allow users to evaluate more than one page at a time. "People wanted that data that WAVE provides on a page, but they wanted it across an entire website,"Smith said. Users can access these new, more powerful tools in several ways.

A subscription allows a user's server to send and receive data from WebAIM via the cloud. A stand-alone option allows WAVE to run on the user's own system. A third option, DynoLitics, will be offered through a partnership between Pope Tech and WebAIM, using WAVE's technology to provide detailed reports and customized dashboards to keep users abreast of their websites' accessibility. Using these new tools, developers would have to option to set up the service to do a number of things: perhaps periodically evaluate the entire site, or even identify accessibility issues in real time. For example, a blogger could be warned of missing alt text before a post is published. The new licensing options, which started last fall, are made possible by Utah State University's technology transfer services. These services handled WAVE's revenue and legal aspects. The licensing options will be especially useful for universities, municipalities, government agencies and groups that develop multiple websites, Smith said.