Karl Groves

Tech Accessibility Consultant
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Web Accessibility Testing Tools: Who tests the DOM?

Earlier this year, I put up the Mother Effing Tool Confuser to help those who may be looking for an automated web accessibility testing tool make an educated decision. I’ve recently decided to do some of my own testing to see which tools do and don’t test the DOM. To do so, I used the Complete List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools from the W3C. I am limiting my own tool evaluations to those which do a more comprehensive test against WCAG. For each tool available, I tested the Mother Effing Tool Confuser page and, if the tool finds errors, then it isn’t testing the DOM. Simple.

At the moment, the only data I’ve gathered is for Online Services – those which allow you to submit an URL and get a report. For the most part, you can assume that browser toolbars will test the DOM, but I do plan on testing those as well and will update this blog post with that data.

Note, May 29, 2014: When I say “Test the DOM”, I’m specifically referring to assessing the DOM after rendering completely with any relevant JavaScript applied. A more accurate term might be “JavaScript-aware”

Online Services – tested 06-Sept 2013

Online services are those services that allow you to enter the URL for a page you wish to test and the service spits back a report. Several such tools from the W3C list no longer exist. Some services appeared down or otherwise broken and are therefore not included. For instance both the Truwex tool and the online version of FAE returned blank screens when I attempted to use them, so they aren’t listed here.

Amazingly, of those which I could use, only three actually tested the DOM: Tenon, SortSite & Opquast. .

Tool Name Do they test the DOM?

  1. Updated November 7, 2015
  2. Included here mostly due to my own curiosity
Tenon Yes
aChecker No
Etre No
Accessibility Valet No
EvalAccess No
Hera No
CynthiaSays No
DaSilva No
SortSite Yes
WAVE Yes 1
Opquast Yes
W3C Validator No 2
Validator.nu No 2
I’m available for accessibility consulting, audits, VPATs, training, and accessible web development, email me directly at karl@karlgroves.com or call me at +1 443-875-7343