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Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance by Andrew Kirkpatrick, Patrick H. Lauke, Jim Thatcher, Shawn Lawton Henry, Cynthia D. Waddell, Bruce Lawson, Michael R. Burks, Christian Heilmann, Mark Urban, Richard Rutter, Bob Regan

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13 ACCESSIBILITY TESTING

by Jim Thatcher

A large number of sophisticated software tools can be used to check for web accessibility. U.S. federal agencies and corporations are spending millions of dollars on tools that claim to test websites for accessibility. But what actually can and cannot be tested with these tools?

Any accessibility testing must be viewed as a process that combines automated software tools with human judgment. There is no tool that you can run against your website (or web page, for that matter) in order to assert that it is accessible and/or complies with the Section 508 provisions or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)—no matter how much you are willing to pay. When a website claims Section 508 conformance or ...

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