Post Archive

Orderspoon Takes the Lead in Digital Accessibility

Orderspoon (by 4 Leaf Labs), an online order app for restaurants, has set a new standard for accessibility in the online order space. The customizable Orderspoon app integrates with Clover POS, and has been updated to ensure compatibility with assistive technology devices (including screen readers and braille displays).

Accessibility Features of the Orderspoon App

The Orderspoon app works seamlessly with assistive technology devices, and conforms with the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 priority AA).

Here are a few notable accessibility features of the app:

  • Keyboard accessibility – all forms, controls, menus, etc. are usable with a keyboard only.
  • Enhanced Readability – the Orderspoon app meets minimum required contrast levels for WCAG 2.0 priority AA compliance (4.5:1)
  • Ease of Navigation – the Orderspoon app includes consistent navigation systems, skip links, and ARIA landmark roles to improve usability and accessibility.
  • Mobile Compatibility – the Orderspoon app is fully responsive, and text can be resized as needed using browser zoom (up to 200%).


In April 2019, Aurora Design and Consulting was commissioned to help the 4 Leaf Labs’ development team update Orderspoon for accessibility with assistive technology devices. During a three-month period, Aurora staff provided training, email/phone support, and accessibility testing services to update the Orderspoon app for accessibility with assistive technology devices.

As work was completed on the Orderspoon app, we provided accessibility evaluation services (including testing with VoiceOver and NVDA screen readers) to verify and document accessibility conformance with WCAG 2.0 priority AA. For accessibility documentation, we provided a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT), accessibility information page, and conformance letter.

Visit the Orderspoon website to learn how Orderspoon can help you reach more customers, meet accessibility requirements for assistive technology users, and expand your business.

Need Help Updating Your App for Accessibility?

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National Law Review Publishes Article on Website Accessibility Litigation

National Law Review – August 2, 2019

The National Law Review has published a new article on the growing risk of accessibility litigation. The article covers current legal trends, and some tips to avoid a costly ADA Title III lawsuit.

Why Manual Testing is Critical for Accessibility Compliance

Despite an increasing number of automated tools to evaluate websites for accessibility, manual accessibility testing is more important than ever for evaluating real world accessibility of websites. This is because many accessibility barriers can escape detection with automated accessibility scanners. Also, testing with assistive technology devices is the best way to get a real-world picture of accessibility, and to determine compatibility with common assistive technology devices including screen readers, braille displays, screen magnifiers, and other AT software/devices.

Also, manual tools can be used to:

  • Evaluate the extent and impact of WCAG failures on website accessibility
  • Identify accessibility improvements needed to ensure the best experience for assistive technology users
  • Complete a conformance evaluation and make a conformance claim (aligns with W3C recommendations for evaluating websites for accessibility).

Strengths of Automated Accessibility Scanners

Screenshot of Wave Accessibility Tool for Google Chrome

Automated tools are great for getting a mile-high view of website accessibility. They are also excellent tools for identifying programmatic errors that might impact accessibility such as missing alternate text, duplicate element IDs, empty buttons and links, and other errors. Premium automated tools (i.e. Siteimprove) also have the benefit of scanning larger selections of pages than might be impractical to test manually using assistive technology devices.

Here is a list of some free tools to identify HTML/CSS errors and WCAG 2.0 failures:

Also, there are many premium tools to evaluate website accessibility conformance and to document WCAG failures. Siteimprove, SortSite and Compliance Sheriff allow users to scan a much larger selection of pages to identify WCAG failures.

Strengths of Manual Accessibility Testing

Photo: Blind person using a Braille display

Manual testing involves testing websites with assistive technology devices to evaluate compatibility and identify any accessibility barriers. Manual accessibility testing is the best way to get a real-world picture of accessibility compliance, and to identify significant barriers for assistive technology users.

There is no replacement for real-world testing for accessibility compliance, and manual testing can identify many errors that automated tools might miss including:

Keyboard Accessibility problems – missing keyboard focus, forms and menus that do not work with a keyboard only, inaccessible dialogs, and other accessibility errors.

Contrast Errors – Automated tools are an excellent tool to identify potential contrast problems, but they have some inherent limitations. Automated tools like Wave’s contrast tool do not account for background images, text styling, and other effects that might impact the readability of text.

Error Reporting – problems with form field validation and error reporting can only be evaluated properly using assistive technology devices.

Here are some great free tools that we use for manual accessibility testing and evaluation:

To effectively evaluate website accessibility with assistive technology devices, the W3C also recommends employing both expert AT users and people with disabilities to get a complete picture of accessibility.


Evaluating websites for accessibility requires both manual and automated testing to get a complete picture of accessibility.

Automated tools are an excellent choice for identifying programmatic errors that might impact accessibility, while manual testing is essential to evaluate compatibility of websites with assistive technology devices. Together these tools can be used to evaluate website accessibility, and to verify and document accessibility compliance with the W3Cs Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

First Lawsuits over Disabled Access to Websites make their way to Minnesota

Pioneer Press – Tad Vezner

Echoing a recent trend in other states, for the first time a lawsuit has been filed in Minnesota alleging that websites — in this case, belonging to a county and couple of cities — violate disability law.

Much like lawsuits demanding such things as wheelchair ramps and handicap parking, the suits claim the defendants’ digital real estate is so inhospitable it denies access.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


AChecker Screenshot

AChecker is a web-based automated evaluation tool that includes HTML and CSS validation options. Using AChecker—you can test your site against a number of conformance guidelines including: Section 508, WCAG A-AAA, and more. Known problems are displayed in an easy to read format and include line numbers for easy identification. AChecker also lists potential problems for further investigation.


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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