Post Archive

Court Rules Against Dunkin Donuts in Website Accessibility Case

A federal appeals court overturned a lower court and ruled a blind plaintiff can pursue an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit against Dunkin Donuts L.L.C. for allegedly having an inaccessible website.

The case is part of a trend, with more courts ruling against companies over the issue of website accessibility, while the number of lawsuits alleging ADA violations related to website access grows dramatically.

Freedom Scientific Announces FREE JAWS, ZoomText and MAGic Licenses in Hungary

Working with the IT Foundation for the Visually Impaired, Freedom Scientific has announced country-wide licenses for Hungary, which could benefit as many as 300,000 people living in the country.

Any individual or entity can now apply to the Hungarian government for a copy of JAWS, ZoomText or MAGic with a free annual license.

Aurora Celebrates the 28th Anniversary of the ADA

This year marks the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities (ADA). The law was signed into effect on July 26, 1990, and marked the first comprehensive civil rights bill addressing the needs of people with disabilities. The bill prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications.

Please pledge your support for the ADA, and help make the world a more accessible place!

National Association of the Deaf assures text-to-911 with lawsuit

Source – Tucson News Now (July 13th 2018)

The state of Arizona settled a 2016 lawsuit with the National Association of the Deaf and agreed to fund text-to-911 systems.

Text-to-911 allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have a speech impairment to summon emergency services and report crimes. As with other accommodations for people with disabilities, text-to-911 will also help others where it may be too dangerous to make a voice call to 911.

Court Permits Website Accessibility Lawsuit Against Hooters To Proceed

June 22 –

A federal appeals court just breathed new life into a disability access lawsuit filed against restaurant chain Hooters, permitting a blind plaintiff who claims he could not access the company’s business website to proceed with his ADA claim—despite the fact that the company was in the midst of fixing its website at the time the lawsuit was filed.

Lawmakers Seek Clarity from Sessions on ADA, Website Accessibility

ABA Banking Journal – June 21, 2018

A group of 103 lawmakers yesterday wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions seeking further clarity on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites. The letter came in response to numerous demand letters that banks and other businesses have received from plaintiffs’ firms asserting that websites are not accessible to speech and hearing impaired customers, as required by ADA.

Best Accessibility Tools for Web Developers and Designers

As a follow up to our article titled Best Automated Accessibility Assessment Tools, we decided to focus on accessibility tools that are particularly useful for Web developers. In this article we’ll discuss these free tools, and how they can help to streamline your development process.

Web-AIM Color Contrast Checker

Screenshot: Web-AIM's Color Contrast Checker

Web-AIM’s Color Contrast Checker displays the contrast ratio between foreground text and background colors to help designers select combinations for maximum readability and accessibility.

Web-AIM’s checker takes two hex color values, and displays the contrast ratio between them. The checker also displays pass/fail values for WCAG priority AA and AAA compliance. WCAG 2.0 priority AA compliance requires a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 while WCAG 2.0 AAA requires a contrast ratio of 7:1.

Learn more about Web-AIMs Color Contrast Checker

NVDA Screen Reader

Screenshot: NV Access Home Page

NonVisual Desktop Access, or NVDA, is a free screen reader for Windows PCs. NVDA is one of the most popular screen readers — with over a quarter of respondents in WEB-AIMs Screen Reader User Survey #7 using NVDA ( .

There is a bit of a learning cure for using NVDA screen reader, as there are many keyboard commands to learn to become proficient with this technology. There is no better tool though to get a real-world picture of website accessibility. By using NVDA screen reader, developers can test website navigation systems, web forms, and other page elements to ensure that they work seamlessly with assistive technology devices and a keyboard only.

Web-AIM has published a quick start guide titled Using NVDA to Evaluate Web Accessibility for developers looking to incorporate NVDA into their accessibility testing process.

Wave Accessibility Evaluation Tool

Screenshot: Wave Accessibility Evaluation ToolNo list of accessibility tools would be complete without mentioning Web-AIM’s Wave Accessibility Evaluation Tool. This free tool is the most comprehensive automated assessment tool available today. Wave will scan your pages for WCAG 2.0 failures, and analyze color contrast for page elements to alert you to any potential contrast problems.

Wave is easy to use, and includes both graphical and code views to help you easily identify the source of WCAG 2.0 failures and warnings.

If you’re using Chrome browser, there is also a FREE extension for the Color Contrast Checker in Chrome’s web store .

Learn more about Wave Accessibility Evaluation Tool

HTML/CSS Validators

Screenshot: W3C Markup ValidatorThe W3C’s HTML and CSS validators are essential tools for identifying markup and structural errors on your pages. The W3C’s Markup Validation Service and CSS Validator allow you to scan pages for markup errors by URI, file upload or by direct input. Both tools displays validation errors and warnings by line number to allow you to easily identify and fix errors in your HTML and CSS code.

Learn more about the W3C’s HTML and CSS validators:


The W3C, Web-AIM, and NV Access provide excellent tools for web developers to validate, scan and test web content for accessibility barriers. The tools that we’ve covered can be used throughout the development process to identify potential barriers, and to ensure that websites work seamlessly with assistive technology devices.

With so many free tools available, it’s easier than ever to integrate accessibility testing and validation into your team’s development process.

Need Help?

Aurora provides training and professional development for website developers, designers, and content managers. Our training series cover: WCAG 2.0, accessible development techniques, and testing procedures to help development teams get up to speed on accessibility.

WCAG 2.1 Released as Official W3C Recommendation

The World Wide Web consortium (W3C) has released an updated version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). The new guidelines provide additional checkpoints for Web developers to improve accessibility of websites, apps, and other information technology systems.

Highlights of the WCAG 2.1 include:

  • Guidance for complex gestures and techniques to avoid unintended activation of touch-enabled controls
  • New guidance regarding contrast of graphic elements and text
  • Requirements to warn and allow users to extend time limits imposed by content/forms

And here are some useful links to learn more about WCAG 2.1:


Education Department Sued Over New Approach to Civil Rights Complaints

Education Week – May 31, 2018

The U.S. Department of Education can’t just ignore and fail to investigate civil-rights complaints from those who repeatedly file such complaints, says a lawsuit filed against the department from three advocacy organizations.

Best Automated Accessibility Assessment Tools

Automated Accessibility Assessment tools are a great way to begin a comprehensive review of accessibility—and can help you identify critical accessibility issues with your website. These tools can help you identify common accessibility problems such as missing alt text, low contrast elements, invalid HTML/CSS markup, and more. Several of these automated tools also include markup warnings and manual checks for further testing. All of the tools included in this review are free web-based services.

Please note that the tools listed below are only a starting point to help you identify potential accessibility problems with your Website. A complete review should always include manual testing with a screen reader or other assistive technology device to insure usability and accessibility.

W3C HTML Validator

HTML Validator Screenshot

The W3Cs Markup Validation service is an excellent starting point for any accessibility review. This tool scans your site for invalid markup based upon the type of source document (XHTML, HTML5, etc)—and returns any validation errors or warnings. The service is free, and there are no limits to how many pages you can test. The W3C also offers a premium service called W3C Validator Suite which will check your entire website for validation errors.

Learn more about the W3C HTML validator

W3C CSS Validator

CSS Validator Screenshot

Once you’ve tested your site with the W3Cs markup validation service—you’ll want to test your CSS to make sure that it’s valid. The W3Cs markup validation tool accepts the URL of a webpage and scans all of the CSS files linked from a web page. The CSS validator returns a list of valid CSS declarations and any errors encountered during the scan. It’s important to fix CSS errors identified during this process as they can pose problems for assistive technology devices.

Learn more about the W3C CSS validator

Wave Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

Wave Screenshot

Wave’s Evaluation tool is an excellent choice for automated accessibility reviews. It features a graphical display of accessibility warnings and errors that is easy to read. The scanner includes filters for WCAG A, AA, and AAA compliance, and allows you to preview your site without styles or with user-specified styles. Wave’s evaluation tool also includes contrast warnings to insure that your pages are readable by users with low vision.

Learn more about Wave accessibility tool


A11ygator Screenshot

A11ygator is a web-based automated accessibility evaluation tool that includes WCAG 2.0 priority A, AA, and AAA guidelines. WCAG failures and manual checks are clearly identified in an easy to read accessibility report. Also, there is a Chrome extension for A11ygator so that you can test pages directly in your Web browser.

Learn more about A11ygator


Automated Accessibility scans are an integral part of any assessment strategy. They provide a first line of defense to quickly identify accessibility barriers, and can help you streamline website accessibility assessment. When combined with manual reviews (including tests with assistive technology devices)—these tools can help you meet or exceed your accessibility compliance goals.

Need help?

Aurora Design and Consulting provides Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 Compliance Testing to help you meet your compliance goals.

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