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A color contrast tool for every occasion

Testing for color contrast can turn into one of the trickiest parts of accessibility. It blends design and technical requirements in a way that makes it easy to lose sight of over the course of a project. The right tools can help, and here are a few of my favorites:

Before a design hits the browser, use North Carolina State University’s Color Palette Builder. You can add dozens of colors at once and test their contrast levels according to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

If you have a design in the browser, Google’s Accessibility Developer Tools will alert you to colors that don’t meet WCAG requirements in your pages or applications. It helps you see gaps in your design’s colors, and it’s perfect for lots of color combinations.

If you need to spot check a color combination here or there, I prefer Lea Verou’s Contrast Ratio tool. It even takes RGBA colors too!

News and links

Consider aligning WHATWG main element definition with W3C definition: A number of Web standards and accessibility professionals debate how the main element should work in browsers and assistive technology. Should there be just one, or more than one? The two Web standards groups currently have different definitions of the element.

The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 becames a W3C recommendation: From the abstract for this Web standard – “The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 provides guidelines for designing web content authoring tools that are both more accessible to authors with disabilities (Part A) and designed to enable, support, and promote the production of more accessible web content by all authors (Part B).”

Heydon Pickering needs your help with a screen reader strategy survey: In Heydon’s own words, “Despite having some knowledge of the conventions and controls of NVDA, JAWS et al, my sporadic test usage of screen readers is mere fumbling — fumbling around pages I’ve built looking for information I already know is there, usually while I’m looking at said pages. This really doesn’t tell me a great deal. So, I want to ask any screen reader users reading this to help me and others to fill in some gaps.”

Resources, tools and tutorials

New to A11y?

Rakesh Paladugula wrote a post called 10 accessibility checks in 10 minutes, a perfect introduction to basic accessibility testing.

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