WebAIM, one of the world leaders in information and resources promoting website accessibility has announced a major update/upgrade to their on-line automatic web accessibility assessment tool, WAVE. Shorthand for the “Web Accessibility EValuation”, WAVE has been used by developers, designers and users to test websites for almost 20 years. It was developed and is maintained by the organization WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind), a non-profit based at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
According to information on their website:
“WAVE is a suite of evaluation tools that help authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. WAVE can identify many accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) errors, but also facilitates human evaluation of web content. Our philosophy is to focus on issues that we know impact end users, facilitate human evaluation, and to educate about web accessibility.”
The update/upgrade includes a new visual look and feel to the tool and some features such as the “contrast tools” have been overhauled making them more usable. According to their press release, the revised tool now indicates “HTML regions and ARIA landmarks as being structural elements, and several new tests/rules are in place…”
As before, WAVE comes as a stand-alone, online tool, a web portal, where users can input in a link to a website, run the report and see the test results along with a marked up version of the website being tested. The WAVE also comes as a free plugin for Chrome and Firefox browsers although the updated version for Firefox has yet to be released.