On Tuesday, Microsoft open sourced its Accessibility tools, allowing developers to easily find and fix common accessibility issues early in the development cycle. This includes Accessibility Insights for Windows and Accessibility Insights for Web, both built on Deque’s open source axe technology. You can run quick tests, easily create audits that you can export and share with others, and even file issues to GitHub.
Accessibility Insights for Web
Accessibility Insights for Web is basically a Chrome extension that helps developers find and fix accessibility issues in web apps and sites.
The tool comes with a lightweight, two-step process called FastPass that helps developers identify common, high-impact accessibility issues. Fast Pass uses automated checks to check compliance with approximately 50 accessibility requirements. It also makes use of Tab stops to provide clear instructions and a visual helper for identifying accessibility issues related to keyboard access, such as missing tab stops, keyboard traps, and incorrect tab order.
The second part of Accessibility Insights is Assessment which helps HTML developers in verifying if a web app or web site is 100% compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA. It also comes with Automated checks and also Manual Testing to provide step-by-step instructions, examples, and how-to-fix guidance for approximately 20 tests.
Deque Systems provides GitHub issue filing for Accessibility Insights for Web, and color contrast detection heuristics for Accessibility Insights for Windows.
On why Accessibility Insights is open sourced, Microsoft writes in a blog post, “We are driven by the promise of more accessible products for more people. That’s why we’re releasing Accessibility Insights to the open source and accessibility communities – it’s all of ours now, and together we’ll continue to make it a better tool and build a more accessible future.”
You can read more about Accessibility Insights on its website.