Testing Web Site Accessibility
for Persons with Disabilities

Best Practice:

All Department of Commerce organizations should establish a policy and procedures
for testing their Web sites for compliance with the Web Site Accessibility
for Persons with Disabilities


To assist Department of Commerce organizations in ensuring that DOC Web sites comply with the Web Site Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities policy and to support the Annual Web Site Certification Policy.


DOC organizations should require that all new or modified pages be tested prior to posting and should determine what testing procedures best meet their specific situation.

While no particular testing method or procedure guarantees full compliance with the Department's Web Site Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities policy or the law, the following steps are suggested:

1. Test the page with an HTML validator (e.g., W3C HTML Validation Service).
[See note below]

2. View the page in multiple browsers (e.g., Netscape, Internet Explorer, Opera), including one that is "text only" (e.g., Lynx).
[See note below]

3. Use software accessibility testing tools (e.g., WAVE, Bobby, Dreamweaver Accessibility Checker).
[See note below]

4. Have a visually impaired person access the page(s) using assistive technology (e.g., JAWS, Window Eyes).
[See note below]

5. Check the page(s) with style sheets, Java, and JavaScript disabled.

Notes The Department of Commerce neither recommends nor endorses any of the products or services noted above. They are merely examples of some of the many available resources which may be helpful to Web developers attempting to make their Web sites fully accessible. The list above and the more comprehensive resource list are not intended to be exhaustive. Also, users should note that they should not download or install software without first clearing it with their support desk and, if appropriate, security personnel.

More Comprehensive Resource List



Department of Commerce Web Advisory Council (WAC)
U.S. Department of Commerce

Send questions and comments about this page to WAC@doc.gov
Page last updated October 12, 2010