There are many experts that can help you make a website (or mobile app, PDF file, etc.) accessible—that is, inclusively functional.
You might expect those experts’ own websites to be paragons of accessibility. But guess again! Just as diversity and inclusion podcasts are often inaccessible, so are accessibility websites.
What I found
In July 2022 I fed the home pages of 99 experts in digital accessibility to procedures that automatically test and score web pages for accessibility. A perfect score would be 0.
In the table below:
- Each name in the
Pagecolumn is a link to the page that was tested.
- Each number in the
Scorecolumn is a link to a digest with a detailed report.
What do the data tell us?
None of the 99 pages got a perfect score of zero. Three reasons:
- Some tests deliver warnings about likely accessibility problems, so even a perfectly accessible page could get a non-zero score.
- Tests can be imperfect, so some reported faults may in fact not be harmful. Conversely, automated tests do not catch all faults, so these pages may have other accessibility problems not reported by any of the tests.
- There are disagreements on exactly what would make a web page perfectly accessible, and therefore on how to test and measure accessibility.
Most of the tests belong to widely used test packages. High scores justify concern and investigation.
Even the best-scoring page (Ab11y) fails some tests, because the page violates common accessibility norms. For example, it has 2
main landmarks instead of only 1; its logo is wrongly coded as a heading; and its navigation links across the top are a list but are coded as if they were phrases in a single sentence.
Recall George Bernard Shaw’s maxim,
He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. Many consultants claim they can make your website accessible, but you could reasonably ask them to demonstrate this competence on their own websites first.
The accessibility testing procedure was
tp12, part of Testaro. The scoring procedure was
sp12b, part of Testilo. The digests detailing the results for the pages were created by
dp12b in Testilo.
The 99 digital-accessibility experts were identified mainly by means of lists published by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals and Raghavendra Satish Peri.
Previous versions of this report were published in January 2022 and July 2022. The scores have changed, because:
- Some of the pages have changed, so the same procedures would have produced different scores.
- The set of test sources has grown. Tests other than my own now come from software packages developed by Deque, IBM, Siteimprove, Squiz Labs, Tenon, and WebAIM.
- Consequently, the number of tests has grown. The
tp12procedure runs 808 tests.
- Tests have been revised to correct bugs and improve validity, thanks in part to suggestions received.
- The scoring procedure has been revised to more accurately reflect the overlaps between test packages.
Do you have a suggestion for further improvements? If it is for testing, please create an issue for Testaro. If it is for scoring, please create an issue for Testilo.