Using Your Browser

Welcome to our free Web Accessibility and Section 508 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Web Accessibility and Section 508 Training for Experienced Web Designers course.

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Using Your Browser

Using Your Browser

The first and most dramatic way to test your web pages is by putting your own browser to work. You should set up your browser to display pages without images. And, you should try viewing your web pages with large fonts and with different color schemes.

While you perform these "tests," remember they are real-life necessities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

Viewing Your Page Without Images

  • Test pages by:
    • Display pages without images
    • View pages with large fonts
    • View pages with different color schemes
  • Shows you what a:
    • screen reader user would hear
    • non-graphical browser user would see

To see what a screen reader user would hear, or what a non-graphical browser user would see, you can view pages with images turned off. Use the Web Accessibilty Toolbar : Images > Remove Images. Below is a screenshot of part of the home page, before and after the Remove Images function has been performed. Travelocity Screenshot with images Screenshot with alt-text replacing each image

With the two screenshots - one unaltered and the other with alt-text replacing the images - you may be able to look back and forth to compare alt-text with the image to check the quality of the text alternative. The Toolbar (of course) offers other better options for doing that. If you use Show Images instead of Remove Images, then the alt-text will be placed next to the image for easy evaluation. Alternatively, you can use List Images which creates an HTML page listing all the images and the code associated with each - there you can see the alt attribute.

Changing Fonts and Colors

  • Some users view pages with fonts and colors changed

Some users view pages with fonts and colors changed, which is not the way the web developer specified them.

  • To reject colors and fonts of the web author use the Toolbar, IE > Accessibility Dialog and check the ignore colors, font styles and font sizes check boxes
  • To change to a larger font use the Toolbar, IE > Textsize > Largest

Using the Keyboard

  • All pages should be tested using ONLY the keyboard to navigate
    • Using IE, Netscape Navigator and Firefox, use the tab key to move between links
    • Using Opera, use the A key to move between links (Q to move backwards)

Many people with disabilities are not able to use a mouse because they lack hand-eye coordination, because they can't see the mouse pointer or because they lack fine motor control. All pages should be tested with the mouse hidden from the tester's grasp. Use only the keyboard to navigate from link to link and to all form controls.

With Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox use the Tab key to move from link to link and around the elements of a form. Shift+Tab moves backwards. With Opera, use the A key to move through links, Q to move backwards. In Opera the Tab key moves between form controls (Shift+Tab backwards). Try using some familiar site in this way (no mouse!). Use the Toolbar (last two buttons) to open the current page in Opera or in Firefox.

Accessibility Testing Tools

  • Web Accessibility Toolbar is a testing tool itself
    • Checks for:
      • Missing alt-text on page
      • Missing attributes for images

The Web Accessibilty Toolbar is really a testing tool itself. You can quickly check alt-text on pages, and if images are missing this required attribute, the Toolbar lets you know with an alert how many images have no alt-text. ALert showing 46 images lacking alt-text on

From the Web Accessibilty Toolbar Check button you can activate two one page Accessibility Testing tools against the current page, Cynthia Says and WebExact.


This tutorial is based on Webucator's Web Accessibility and Section 508 Training for Experienced Web Designers Course. We also offer many other Web Accessibility Training courses. Sign up today to get help from a live instructor.