Professional web accessibility auditing

Web accessibility professionals are in high demand around the world. This practical course will provide the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to evaluate accessibility and make informed recommendations for improving compliance with international accessibility standards.


What’s it about?

With accessibility laws emerging around the world, there is an increasing demand for skilled accessibility professionals who know accessibility standards and can identify potential barriers on the Web. These web accessibility specialists make informed recommendations to ensure accessibility conformance and compliance. Participants will use a variety of accessibility testing tools and methods for identifying barriers. This course will provide accessibility compliance training, and participants will learn about local and international accessibility laws. 

What will I learn?

This online web accessibility training course introduces the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) as the standard for developing web content that will be accessible and usable by everyone. The focus is on using automated tools and manual strategies to identify potential barriers, compliance reporting, and making informed recommendations to remove barriers that may prevent some people from accessing content on the Web. The goal of the course is to help promote inclusive design and meet accessibility standards.

This course will cover the following topics:

  • Accessibility Core Competencies
  • WCAG Guidelines, Success Criteria, and Techniques
  • Review of Automated Accessibility Testing Tools
  • Assistive Technology Testing
  • User Testing Strategies and Techniques
  • Introduction to WAI-ARIA
  • Web Accessibility Reporting
  • International Accessibility Standards

Positions for web accessibility professionals are on the rise in Canada with the introduction of legislation like the AODA and the Canadian Standard on Web Accessibility, among others. However, there is a labour market shortage in North America and beyond for web accessibility professionals proficient in applied web accessibility evaluation and remediation.

What’s involved?

Participants are placed in the role of a manager/owner for a small fictional company that has been asked by a client organization to update the accessibility of its website. The company's story is weaved throughout the course to provide a sense of reality, and parallels what one might experience in the real world.

The course starts with background on disability and related barriers that may prevent access to web content for some people, and an overview of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), before focusing on evaluating and reporting. 

A variety of automated accessibility testing tools are first introduced and evaluated, including several web accessibility checking tools, colour contrast evaluators, reading level testing tools, and HTML markup validators, among others. These tools are collected, along with other resources and references, to create an accessibility auditing toolkit that participants can take away from the course.

Additional manual testing strategies are also introduced, including evaluation with assistive technologies such as screen readers. Using a screen reader participants contrast navigating accessible and inaccessible websites and develop firsthand experience with potential barriers.

In the final activity, participants evaluate the website of the small company, and make recommendations to correct the issues that were found on the site.


Previous familiarity with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) will be beneficial in taking this course, though the basics of WCAG will be introduced. A working understanding of HTML, and some familiarity JavaScript concepts, will be needed in order to make informed recommendations for solutions to web accessibility issues, though it is still possible to do well in this course with a focus on identifying accessibility problems in web content. Participants who have not had previous experience with WCAG, may wish to take Introduction to Web Accessibility on OERu, for detailed coverage of all the accessibility guidelines that make up the standard, as well as techniques to resolve a wide variety of accessibility issues.


Current Start learning

Course Code: WACC201
Available: 6 December 2019
Duration: 4 Weeks,5 hours per week
Type: Micro course

Course Credit: Professional development course without credit
Credential: None
Level: 2nd year Bachelor’s

This course is also offered by The Chang School as a moderated, expert led professional development course. For those who prefer more structured, responsive instruction, you can learn more about CKCS125 Web Accessibility Auditing and Reporting, and register, through The Chang School website.