10 Best Web Accessibility Testing Tools (Free & Paid) for 2021

You may already know that website accessibility is important, but how do you know if your website is accessible? Odds are, it’s not as accessible as you might think.

Designers and developers may not realize how people with different disabilities access websites. People may use assistive reading technology, mouth sticks, Braille keyboards, or a combination of technology. And some website visitors may just need to see high-contrast text and images to help them interpret content.

With accessibility testing tools, you can begin to learn what areas of your site might be confusing or inaccessible to users with disabilities. These tools can help you bring your site into compliance with modern accessibility standards, as well as increase your website traffic. In this post we’ll cover the top accessibility tools, so you can get started with improving your website for all users.

The 10 best accessibility testing tools
Monsido
WAVE
Google Lighthouse
CKEditor
Axe DevTools
Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE)
Total Validator
Remediate
Accessibility Scanner
Tenon

What Are Accessibility Testing Tools, Exactly?

Accessibility testing tools are either browser extensions or command-line tools that evaluate your site’s level of accessibility. These tools may provide a score for certain categories, such as page speed and overall site performance, or they may offer detailed reports about all of the features on a website and to what extent they accommodate people with different disabilities.

Note: While accessibility tools can help detect common issues, some programs may return “false positives” for accessibility errors, which is why a human review of the tool’s findings is always recommended. Human user testing is an important next step in that process, as it sometimes reveals problems that the ADA testing tools can’t diagnose or that the reviewer missed.

10 Best Web Accessibility Tools

The following accessibility tools provide a good baseline for improving your website accessibility.
Text saying One platform to perfect your website user experience and graphs and tables displaying analytics results inside the Monsido Platform.

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Web app

This website accessibility testing platform reviews websites for compliance with multiple guidelines: WCAG, ADA, Section 508, EU Accessibility Directive, and Australian DDA. In addition to accessibility reports and compliance recommendations, Monsido offers accessibility training, one-on-one support, webinars, and a self-service help center.
Monsido users are also able to access documentation that shows how accessibility levels have improved over time.

Key features:

  • Automated audits and recommendations on remediation
  • PDF scanner and remediation services
  • Check color contrast ratios are compliant with WCAG, ADA and AODA
  • Documented compliance history
  • Whitelist known elements
  • Customer Support Team compliance reviews and unlimited support
  • CMS integrations and browser extension for on-page accessibility reports

Pricing:

Contact for pricing.

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Find out how Monsido’s tools can make your website optimization process efficient and effective.

Graphs and tables displaying analytics results inside the Monsido platform
Screenshot displaying results inside the WAVE web app
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Web app | Chrome & Firefox extension

WAVE is a free accessibility tool that lets users enter a URL on its website to check for accessibility issues. To test locally stored, dynamic, or password-protected pages, just download one of the WAVE browser extensions. A paid subscription-based API version, a WAVE Runner (enterprise) version, and a standalone WAVE API are available.

Key features:

  • Error remediation guidance
  • Color-coded spreadsheet of data (WAVE Runner)
  • Apply scripts to interact with page content (standalone API)
  • Results view can show or hide styles

Pricing:

Subscription-based API pricing is based on “credits” — one basic page analysis is equal to one credit, or up to three credits, for more in-depth analysis. Price per credit is between $.04 and $.025, based on the number of credits purchased. Wave Runner pricing is $500 for up to 10,000 web pages, and $100 for each additional 10,000 pages. Standalone API annual licensing is $4,000 to $10,000, with enterprise pricing available upon request.
Screenshot displaying the Google Lighthouse browser extension on a webshop
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Browser extension

Lighthouse lets you quickly generate a visually engaging report on the accessibility of your website. The tool scans a website from the perspective of a 4G mobile user.
The DevTools version allows for testing of local sites, but the extension does not. Optional add-ons expand the functionality of Lighthouse.


Key features:

  • Page speed insights
  • Weighted page scoring
  • Online report sharing
  • Analyze intranet sites
  • Plug-ins for extended functionality

Pricing:

Free.
Screenshot displaying the CKEditor where accessibility issues have been detected
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Web app

CKEditor 4 is a content editor that offers accessibility testing for an additional fee. This platform catches common accessibility errors and offers input on how to remediate them.

Key features:

  • Conforms with WCAG 2.0 and Section 508
  • “Quick fix” button for accessibility errors
  • Switch to “listening mode” to fix issues manually
  • Feature requests

Pricing:

Free plan available with $13/month fee for accessibility testing. Standard plan is $37/month, with $22/month for accessibility testing. Enterprise pricing is available upon request.
Screenshot displaying Axe DevTools' browser extension with a text saying Automatically catch accessibility defects while you code
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Extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge

Axe DevTools detects accessibility errors during the development stage, prompting developers and designers to review functionality. Axe reportedly does not produce any “false positive” results, meaning it only reports errors that it can confirm with 100% accuracy.

Key features:

  • Works for intranet sites
  • Automatically tests sites when code is updated
  • CI/CD integrations
  • Component-level testing
  • Upgrade to get shareable reporting URLs

Pricing:

Axe DevTools is $40/month, with enterprise pricing available upon request.

Screenshot displaying the FAE login page
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Web app

This open-source tool from The University of Illinois scans sites for compliance with WCAG, but it does not offer ADA testing tools. Users can inspect a single webpage without an account but must register for an account to test additional pages.

Key features:

  • Summary reports
  • Archived reports

Pricing:

Free. 

An image with the headlines Accessibility Testing and HTML Testing and icons displaying an eye and a HTML 5 logo
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Web app | Browser extension

This tool tests HTML and CSS for accessibility and also checks for broken links and spelling errors. The Test version provides a free one page summary, but you’ll need to upgrade to different plans based on the number of files to be tested, and the level of automation needed.

Key features:

  • Tests compliance with WCAG 2.1 and Section 508
  • DOM testing for JavaScript sites
  • Test intranet sites and authenticated URLs
  • Tests content in five languages
  • 60+ user interface themes


Pricing:

Free “Test” version for a single page with a summary of results. Licensing for paid versions (that offer additional functionality and detailed reporting) range from $14/year to $57.50/year.
A screenshot from the Remediate tool showing a dashboard with different accessibility scores
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Web app

This is one of the web accessibility tools that issues alerts for non-compliant features that can be shared internally. Remediate can provide accessibility recommendations across websites, applications, and PDF documents that conform with all levels of WCAG compliance.

Key features:

  • Webpage and PDF review
  • Custom form authentication
  • White label technology
  • Receive alerts and schedule reports
  • Works with most multi-factor authentication protocols
  • Track status of accessibility issues
  • Download and share reports

Pricing:

Free trial available. Premium pricing is $99/month, with enterprise pricing available upon request.
Screenshots from the Accessibility Scanner showing how to get started and how the results are displayed
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Web app | Chrome extension

This tool is specifically for scanning Android apps. It suggests improvements for design features — such as touch targets and page contrast — that can create a better user experience for all users (not just users with disabilities).

Key features:

  • Content labeling recommendations
  • Traversal ordering analysis
  • Detects unsupported item types


Pricing:

Free.
Screenshots from the Tenon website, with the headline Accessibility as a Service and an illustration of a laptop with callouts
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Web app

This tool is for live sites and sites in the development stage. With (somewhat complicated) a la carte pricing, customers can pay for only the features they want to test, including specific sections on pages.

Key features:

  • WCAG and Section 508 compliance testing
  • Jira integration
  • Accessibility training


Pricing:

Per-page testing (referred to as one “API call”) is $.01 to $.05, depending on the number of calls total or per month. Standard plans with a preset number of calls are $82-$687/month, with enterprise pricing available upon request.

Final Thoughts

With the availability of free and paid accessibility testing tools, it’s easy to test websites for compliance. The insights these tools provide can help developers and designers quickly remediate inaccessible features, ensuring people with disabilities can interact with website content or apps in a meaningful way.

Inaccessible websites raise a business’s risk of a civil lawsuit, so it’s good practice to review sites periodically for compliance with WCAG, Section 508, and other accessibility guidelines. Plus, making websites accessible benefits users of all abilities and demonstrates a business’s commitment to inclusiveness.

Remember that while accessibility testing tools may detect obvious errors, they may miss problems that human users and compliance experts would identify. Website accessibility reports offer a baseline analysis; human users and experts fill in the gaps and give you a complete picture of your website’s accessibility.

Are you ready to demonstrate your commitment to accessibility? Contact Monsido today to find out how we help businesses improve their website accessibility and offer the best user experience possible.