HEWeb #WSC4: Open source accessibility tool survey

Monday, October 9th, 2023

Blake Bertuccelli-Booth – Equalify.app and Kevin Andrews – Georgetown University
Monday, October 9, 2023, 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM EDT

Accessibility scanning and remediation is no longer a resource-intensive problem. With the latest open source web accessibility tools, it’s easier than ever to test and improve the accessibility of web properties. As someone who has been involved in the field of web accessibility for many years and built my own open source accessibility solutions, I have seen firsthand the power of these tools to provide developers with powerful and effective ways to ensure that everyone can access and use their digital products and services.

In this presentation, I will demonstrate how next-generation open source web accessibility tools, built using technologies like Rust and gRPC, are leading the way in providing more efficient accessibility testing. These tools make it easier and faster to ensure that your products are accessible to everyone, without requiring significant resources.

I will also cover key ways folks can get started using these tools, including how to integrate them into your development workflow and best practices for accessibility testing. Additionally, I will discuss updates from key technologies like Axe and Editora11y, which form the backbone of many organization’s automated testing programs.

Join me for this informative and engaging presentation on how open source web accessibility tools are making accessibility scanning and remediation easier and more efficient than ever before.


  • “Crowd seems to be on the technical side so we can geek out a bit”
  • The worlds of Accessibility and Open Source working together.
  • Principles to keep in mind
    • Semantic HTML
    • Keyboard accessibility
    • Alt text
  • Kevin gives a demo of JAWs (which is always great to witness)
    • It is good practice for everyone to try navigating pages with the keyboard
  • Key tools:
    • NVDA: An open source screen reader. Compare with Apple Voice Over or JAWS.
    • asTeRICS: construction set for assistive technologies.
    • axe-core: Automated testing solution. Compare with WAVE.
    • WCAG-EM: Guided WCAG reporting tool.
    • Google Lighthouse: Readable automated reports.
    • Pa11y: automated testing via command line 
    • Equalify: Reporting platform over all sites. Compare with SiteImprove.
    • Editora11y: Inline editor reporting.
    • veraPDF: PDF UA testing tool. Compare with Acrobat.
    • Metamatrix: Visual disability simulator.
    • Unlighthouse: Scan Lots of pages with Lighthouse.
  • A great introduction for people new to accessibility checking:
  • WordPress has a long way to go. Powers 40% of the web, but only 3 people on the access team.
  • Final note: “If we had a reality where we had a completely open source ecosystem, we wouldn’t have to keep inventing the same tools over and over”.

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