Web Accessibility Monitoring
5/10/2015
API

Keeping your website inclusive

When it comes to web accessibility monitoring, there’s a lot of tools out there that help do the job. Some include using a browser extension to using a tool that you run on your computer or a 3rd party service. Different purposes for all of the above and A11yWatch was designed to bring this with the ultimate need for speed, accuracy, and extensibility.

Watching pages and notifications

With monitoring the second part that comes is getting notified on the problems that arise on your website. Depending on the time or day it can be really convenient or inconvenient for the reports if you cannot take action during those periods. This is where a filtering system comes into play like setting the day of the week you want the report to get sent to you. We currently have the day filtering in play and working on setting a day or night to go alone with it to better help when you can tackle the issues at hand.

Nothing great was done alone

We picked the best tools to leverage a starting point on figuring out how to gather a base level for WCAG issues while forking the projects to optimize the parts that would crank out every little drop of performance to figure out problems that would arise from a website. The part where the testing differs and makes performance a concern is due to testing being done on real instances of browsers like google chrome to replicate the page if there was javascript internal or external used to create the website.

How to monitor web accessibility?

Theres different areas where web accessibility can be tackled and this is where A11yWatch being fully open source helps leverage integration into your workflow. If you need to get started monitoring a simple website you can easily just use our service at https://www.a11ywatch.com or if you feel confident you can also put the project on any machine by using the cli at https://github.com/A11yWatch/a11ywatch/cli which can be installed with rust using cargo install a11ywatch_cli. After you decide what point you want to enter with the monitoring you can use the website or web GUI to add your application to be on the tracking list.

Why A11yWatch?

With A11yWatch we take several steps above the basic conformance that most web accessibility tools provide. If there's an issue and we are confident on what the fix would be it’s delivered along with the quickly. We provide a CDN that can safe guard websites if issues arise on accident from developer error or if you are using an external script thats generates dynamic content where it can be hard to test through a CLI process upfront. Gathering all the possible pages of a website can be an intense process depending on how accurate you want the monitoring to go. Most runners will simply check a sitemap.xml for a list of routes that can be tested and if it’s not on the list the page does not get handled. The web accessibility playground is also another convenient feature that you can use to test recommendations at hand live on your website using annotations or custom scripts.

Jeff Mendez

My name is Jeff and I am the founder and creator of A11yWatch.