The Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) is a free tool from WebAIM that will help you check your site for accessibility problems. Rather than presenting you with a lengthy technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility of that page.

To check the accessibility of your website with WAVE:

  1. Visit the WAVE website at: http://wave.webaim.org/.
  2. You will have three options for checking your pages:
    • Enter the web address of your site and choose Wave this page! if your site is already publicly available on the Web.
    • Upload a file and choose Wave this file! if you want to check individual files on your computer that are not yet publicly available online.
    • Copy and paste HTML code into the text box at the bottom of the page and choose Wave this code! to validate lines of code for their accessibility.
  3. WAVE Options for checking a site: Enter a website address, Upload a file, Check a section of code.

  4. For this tutorial, I’m going to focus on the first option. After you choose Wave this page!, you will see your site with a series of embedded icons. Each of these icons will represent either an accessibility problem or an accessibility feature you have made available on the site.
    Results for WAVE check shwoing website with embedded icons for both accessibility problems and features.
  5. For an explanation of each icon, select the icons key link at the top of the page.
    WAVE web page with icons key link at top of page highlighted.
    This will display a full list of the icons used by WAVE. Click on any icon for a full explanation of the accessibility problem or feature it describes.
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