Main Menu: Testing
Tools : Page 1
Testing Your Pages
Bobby (http://www.cast.org/bobby), a product of the Center for Applied Special Technology, is a validation tool that will check your pages to see if they comply with the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative. The problem is that it can only look to see if required elements exist. It cannot tell if the required elements are valid and effective. A page with every graphic element tagged with the same alt-text of "Picture" will pass Bobby's test, but that does not make the page accessible. It's a question of literally accessible, but practically useless.
Bobby is a good place to start. Bobby is a bad place to stop.
Here's the bobby output on our Bad Example web page.
Here's the bobby output on our Good Example web page.
Notice that in both cases, Bobby provides a lot of really useful information on how the various pieces of the page line up with the requirements for Priority 1, 2, and 3 accessibility. Also notice the sections on download times and browser compatibilities.
Try running Bobby against your own site by going to http://www.cast.org/bobby and filling in the URL for your own page.
Note that Bobby comes in a "downloadable" version that allows you to check whole websites on your local machine before you commit them to the server. This is a very good tool to have available.
Also, check out the W3C web site, http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/existingtools.html, for a listing of the existing accessibility tools.