Accessibility Testing in Chrome: Essential Tools

Accessibility testing is a crucial component of web development that covers the need for websites and applications for easy use among all groups of users, including people with impairments. Chrome, being one of the most used browsers, offers a variety of tools for developers and testers to assess and improve the accessibility of their web content. 

One can use it to determine color, contrast relevancy, and adherence to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Key tools include Chrome DevTools’ accessibility panel, which provides a different or detailed version of information on the accessibility tree or element properties, and Lighthouse, which audits the pages automatically. 

Moreover, extensions such as Axe DevTools or WAVE enable detailed testing available through the browser, indicating problems and recommending their solutions. However, it is also helpful to develop the experience of blind people or other visually impaired users by testing screen readers through ChromeVox. All these tools help developers detect and eliminate user access barriers to ensure a more inclusive and user-oriented web experience.

What is Accessibility Testing?

Accessibility testing refers to the ease of using websites or internet software services for people with disabilities. These disabilities can be visual, auditory, cognitive, or even motor impairments. Simply put, the need is to make digital content available on any kind of device for everybody, regardless of their disabilities. The testing is commonly accomplished based on compliance with a certain number of standards and recommendations. Those guidelines encompass the W3C’s accessibility suggestions and are entirely committed to making internet content more accessible to people with disabilities. It includes all the following points:

  • Screen Reader Compatibility: This ensures that the on-screen information is read through a screen reader. Specifically, the screen reader helps translate text into speech for visually challenged people.
  • Keyboard Navigation: This helps to ensure that all interactive features can be accessed and controlled by simply using a keyboard. This is critically helpful for people with motor disabilities.
  • Color Contrast: This ensures color contrast between the text and backdrop color combinations so that it can be read easily by visually impaired people.
  • Alternative text for pictures: Pictures should have some other words or captions for them. Put a phrase of words that explains what the picture is about. This is helpful for people who use screen readers.
  • Responsive Design: Make sure the website functions right on all kinds of gadgets and screens, helping users with different needs.

If developers check for accessibility, they can find and fix problems that might stop people with disabilities from participating in online usage and activities, thus creating a more welcoming digital community.

Types of Accessibility Testing in Chrome

Accessibility testing in Chrome uses a variety of ways and techniques to assess the accessibility of web pages and online apps. Here are a few major methods of Chrome accessibility testing:

Automated testing

Automated testing is a software program testing technique that automates the method of assessing software capability and ensuring it fulfills necessities before it is deployed. It further consists of the following functionalities:

●  Chrome Accessibility Developer Tools: These automatically audit web pages for common accessibility concerns. These programs provide reports on accessibility issues and offer ideas for improvement.

●  Chrome Extensions: There are several Chrome extensions available that may do automatic accessibility testing on websites, including Axe, WAVE Evaluation Tool, and Site Improve Accessibility Checker.

Manual testing

Manual testing is a software testing technique where test cases are performed manually, instead of using any automated tool. The tester personally runs all test cases from the standpoint of the end user. It checks to see if the application works as specified in the requirements. Manual testing can be of many types; a few of these are mentioned below:

  • Keyboard navigation testing: This includes manually exploring the internet site using the keyboard to test that all interactive functions are handy and can be worked without a mouse.
  • Display testing: This includes manually tracking the website using display screen reader software like NVDA (non-visual desktop access) or voiceover to decide how nicely something is communicated to users with visual impairments.
  • Color contrast testing: This testing manually evaluates color mixtures on a website to confirm they satisfy accessibility recommendations for sufficient color assessment. A few tools that are generally handy include Chrome’s Developer Tool’s coloration picker or online contrast checkers.

By employing an aggregate of these kinds of accessibility testing in Chrome, developers can comprehensively assess and enhance the accessibility of their websites and web programs, ensuring they are usable by all users, no matter their abilities.

Essential Tools for Accessibility Testing in Chrome

Because the internet continues to amplify and evolve, ensuring that websites and web programs are available to all customers has become a crucial aspect in web development. Accessibility testing plays an extensive role in guaranteeing that websites are usable and navigable with the aid of individuals with disabilities. 

Axe DevTools Extension

The Axe DevTools Extension is a popular accessibility testing tool that integrates seamlessly with Chrome Developer tools. This extension enables developers to pick and resolve accessibility problems successfully by highlighting complex areas on a website. With its user-friendly interface and complete testing abilities, the awl DevTools extension is a precious resource for enhancing website accessibility.

Features of Axe DevTools Extension

  • Accessibility Rules: Axe DevTools Extension checks websites against a set of accessibility rules to identify violations and suggest suitable solutions.
  • Visualizations: The tool provides visual representations of accessibility issues, making it easier for developers to understand and address the problems.
  • Contrast Checker: Axe DevTools Extension includes a contrast checker that ensures text and background colors meet accessibility guidelines for readability.

ChromeVox Screen Reader

Users with visual impairments can easily interact with websites using ChromeVox. It is an extension for screen readers. For users with impairments or those habitually using screen readers, this extension helps read aloud website texts with ease. Besides, developers can also test accessibility for visually impaired users with ChromeVox.

Using ChromeVox Screen Reader for Accessibility Testing

  1. Install ChromeVox from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Run ChromeVox by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Z on Windows/Linux or Command + Option + Z on Mac.
  3. Now, listen to the screen reader’s output while navigating through the webpage using keyboard shortcuts.
  4. Examine the website’s accessibility based on the ease of navigation and readability of content material provided using ChromeVox.

Lighthouse Accessibility Tool

Lighthouse is an open-source device available in Chrome DevTools. It is used to conduct end-to-end testing of websites for overall performance, accessibility, SEO, and more. The accessibility characteristic in Lighthouse evaluates a website based on numerous aspects correlating to its accessibility. These include color assessment, heading structure, and keyboard navigation. By leveraging the Lighthouse Accessibility tool, developers can discover and address accessibility obstacles to create more inclusive websites.

Running Accessibility Audits with Lighthouse

  1. Open Chrome DevTools and navigate to the Lighthouse tab.
  2. Select “Accessibility” as the audit type and click “Generate report.”
  3. Now, review the accessibility audit results. These will provide you with a breakdown of issues and suggestions for improvement.
  4. Simply implement the recommended changes to enhance the accessibility of the website.

LambdaTest for Accessibility Testing in Chrome

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that offers end-to-end capabilities for accessibility testing. By leveraging LambdaTest’s integration with Chrome’s accessibility tools, developers can thoroughly test their websites and web applications. The platform simplifies accessibility testing in Chrome with a user-friendly interface and seamless integration. This further allows developers to discover and cope with accessibility limitations effectively, promote inclusivity, and build virtual environments.

With LambdaTest, developers can perform various accessibility tests, including integrated automatic scans for common problems, altering textual content, insufficient color contrast, and improperly categorized form fields. The platform also allows manual testing, which lets developers simulate the experiences of users with disabilities, including navigation features with a keyboard or using other assistive technologies like display readers.

Furthermore, it offers cross browser testing capabilities to make websites available and usable across different browsers and systems. This complete approach to accessibility testing allows developers to create webpages that cater to the various needs of all customers, irrespective of their competencies.

Advantages of Accessibility Testing in Chrome

Accessibility testing has numerous advantages. Integrated, built-in websites, and applications are inclusive and usable for people with disabilities. First, Chrome’s tools and extensions provide developers with a convenient and accessible method to evaluate accessibility issues, with built-in quick identity, and resolution.

Automated testing capabilities also streamline the process by creating dynamic web pages for common accessibility pitfalls, saving time and effort in the integrated software development cycle. Chrome’s compatibility with numerous assistive technologies enables developers to conduct comprehensive testing and build compatibility with screen readers, speech recognition software, and other assistive devices.

Furthermore, accessibility testing in Chrome promotes adherence to standards such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), compliance, and mitigating legal-built dangers. Normal Chrome accessibility testing empowers developers to create virtual stories that prioritize built-inclusivity, foster integrated equitable access to facts, and are built for all users.

Disadvantages of Accessibility Testing in Chrome

While accessibility testing in Chrome has many advantages, it also has a few limitations and drawbacks. First, computerized testing tools will not discover all accessibility problems, especially those associated with complicated built-in interactions or dynamic content. This may lead to false positives or false negatives, requiring extra manual testing to make sure everything is complete. Moreover, Chrome’s tools may additionally lack the positive advanced functions available in integrated standalone accessibility testing platforms, restricting the depth of evaluation possible.

Furthermore, building entirely on Chrome for accessibility testing may additionally neglect browser-specific issues that affect customers of different browsers or systems. This could result in a lack of cross-browser compatibility, except for users who depend on alternative browsers or operating systems.

Finally, while accessibility testing in Chrome integrates technical accessibility issues, it cannot fully capture the subjective experience of users with disabilities. For developers testing with individuals who have disabilities, staying integrated is important for insights into real-world usability.


In conclusion, accessibility testing in Chrome offers a range of essential tools that empower developers to create more inclusive and user-friendly websites. Through utilizing tools such as Accessibility Audit in DevTools, Axe DevTools Extension, ChromeVox Display Reader, and the Lighthouse Accessibility tool, developers can discover and deal with accessibility problems effectively. By prioritizing accessibility in web development, we can make certain that all users, regardless of their competencies, can access and interact with virtual content seamlessly.

Furthermore, accessibility also promotes innovation. Developers may construct more robust and adaptable programs by taking into account the different demands of their users. Voice controls and flexible interfaces, which were created for people with impairments, are frequently found to benefit a wider audience, including the elderly and those in hands-free surroundings.