Assistive Technology

There is no Section508 Validation service on the website, nor does DOC promote any validation tool over another. In addition there is no single tool that can review your site, find all the errors and fix them for you. Some tools have been known to report false negatives as well as false positives. The most thorough Section 508 compliance test of a website or web application must be completed using both automated and manual processes.

Our compliance assessment process is a compilation of Section 508 standards, guidelines and best practices from industry and government agencies such as the Access Board,, DHS, SSA, HHS, and others. We test our software applications, websites and website content (all documents including video and multimedia) and documentation, using automated test tools and manual techniques.

Some of the multiple automated tools (commercial and freeware)and manual checklist we use for 508 compliance testing are listed below. Most important, we incorporate 508 standards in the functional requirements gathering stages of development; and full software development lifecycle. All projects are fully tested and must pass pre-deployment; all subsequent postings must pass prior to posting; we run routine assessments on a quarterly basis.

On this page we provide a compilation of tools from private industry and government agencies.

Disclaimer: The Department of Commerce does not endorse the content or commercial products on any of the external sites provided, but offers them as an informational resource to be used at your discretion. This list is intended solely as a resource for users who develop and, or manage government websites. This is an unofficial list for informational purposes only.

Buy Accessible

The BuyAccessible system is available to any agency at no cost, and is the quickest, easiest, most efficient way to implement a Section (Sec.) 508 compliance process. The BuyAccessible program is part of GSA’s commitment to provide standard processes and tools to support government-wide compliance with Sec. 508. These tools and processes were developed by industry stakeholders’ determination on how to best implement the Sec. 508 standards. The BuyAccessible System, which has four components, all made available to any agency at no cost to help with the quick, easy, and efficient implementation of all Sec. 508 standards.

Complete List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

The W3C WAI list of Web accessibility evaluation tools is available through:

WAT (Web Accessibility Tools Consortium)

The Web Accessibility Tools Consortium [WAT-C] provides a collection of free tools to assist both developers and designers in the development and testing of accessible web content. The consortium is a collaboration of some of the world's leading accessibility practitioners, founded by Accessible Information Solutions (Australia), Infoaxia (Japan), The Paciello Group (USA), Wrong HTML (Japan), and Juicy Studio (UK).

Color Contrast Analyzer

The Color Contrast Analyzer is primarily a tool for checking foreground & background colour combinations to determine if they provide good colour visibility. It also contains functionality to create simulations of certain visual conditions such as colour blindness.

Determining "colour visibility" is based on the Contrast Ratio algorithm, suggested by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). You can test the Luminosity Contrast ratio using the Luminosity Contrast Ratio Analyer.

The contrast ratio is W3C recommendation to help determine whether or not the contrast between two colours can be read by people with colour blindness or other visual impairments.

Web Accessibility Toolbar For IE

The Web Accessibility Toolbar for IE contains many functions that identify and display specific aspects of a web pages' code and/or content, either by inserting information into the current page or displaying information about the page in a new window These are designed to help identify the use, misuse or absence of particular HTML markup and presentational properties (CSS) that can affect the accessibility of the page.


FireEyes is free for non-commercial users, including users within government agencies. is a practical guide to help you manage your agency's website. While U.S. federal web content managers are the primary audience, also welcome web managers from state, local, and international governments to use the site and to send comments, ideas, and suggested resources.

More Tools (Juicy Studio)

Colour Contrast Analyser - Firefox Extension 0.2
The Colour Contrast Analyser Firefox extension lists colour combinations used in the document in a table that summarises the foreground colour, background colour, luminosity contrast ratio, and the colour difference and brightness difference used in the algorithm suggested in the 26th of April 2000 working draft for Accessibility Evaluation and Repair Tools (AERT). Each element is also listed with its parent elements, and class and id attribute values when specified to make it easier to locate the elements.


Readability Test
The readability test analyses a Web page to determine how readable it is.


CSS Analyser
CSS Analyser - Versione italiana
CSS Analyser - Versión española
The CSS analyser tests for basic accessibility errors such as colour contrast and units of measurement.


Colour Contrast Analyser
The colour contrast analyser tests whether the contrast between the background and the foreground is sufficient.


Luminosity Contrast Ratio Analyser
Tests whether foreground and background colour combinations are sufficient using a new algorithm developed by Trace R & D Center.


Accessible Style Sheet Bookmarklet
An article explaining how to create an accessible style sheet bookmarklet, with a usable example at the end.


Glossary of Terms Extension
A Mozilla/Firefox extension to reveal abbreviations and acronyms added by the author.


Complex Table Inspector
A Mozilla/Firefox extension to reveal accessibility features in tables. Also available as a bookmarklet for other browsers.


Image Analyser
The image analyser tests Web pages to ensure that images have been specified properly.


Link Analyser
The link analyser lists all links on a page with an icon to indicate whether or not the link resolved successfully.

Wave 5 - Platform Independent

Wave 5 is a Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool. WAVE is the most powerful and easiest-to-use web accessibility evaluation tool available, and this release is a significant update that represents several years of effort and thought. After some testing and a few feature and performance enhancements are completed.

Screen Readers


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U.S. Department of Commerce

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Page last updated August 8, 2014