Scott Hanselman

Accessibility Insights for the Web and Windows makes accessibility even easier

April 10, 2019 Comment on this post [2] Posted in Tools
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Accessibility InsightsI recently stumbled upon There's both a Chrome/Edge extension and a Windows app, both designed to make it easier to find and fix accessibility issues in your websites and apps.

The GitHub for the Accessibility Insights extension for the web is at and they have three trains you can get on:

It builds on top of the Deque Axe core engine with a really fresh UI. The "FastPass" found these issues with my podcast site in seconds - which kind of makes me feel bad, but at least I know what's wrong!

However, the most impressive visualization in my opinion was the Tab Stop test! See below how it draws clear numbered line segments as you Tab from element. This is a brilliant way to understand exactly how someone without a mouse would move through your site.

I can easily see what elements are interactive and what's totally inaccessible with a keynote! I can also see if the the tab order is inconsistent with the logical order that's communicated visually.

Visualized Tab Stops as numbered points on a line segment that moves through the DOM

After the FastPass and Tab Visualizations, there's an extensive guided assessment that walks you through 22 deeper accessibility areas, each with several sub issues you might run into. As you move through each area, most have Visual Helpers to help you find elements that may have issues.

Checking for accessible elements on a web site

After you're done you and export your results as a self-contained HTML file you can check in and then compare with future test results.

There is also an Accessibility Insights for Windows if I wanted to check, for example, the accessibility of the now open-source Windows Calculator

It also supports Tab Stop visualization and is a lot like Spy++ - if you remember that classic developer app. There were no Accessibility issues with Calculator - which makes sense since it ships with Windows and a lot of people worked to make it Accessible.

Instead I tried to test Notepad2. Here you can see it found two elements that can have keybook focus but have no names. Even cooler, you can click "New Bug" and it will create a new accessibility bug for you in Azure DevOps.

Test Results for Windows apps being checked for accessibility

The Windows app is also open source and up at for you to explore and file issues! There's also excellent developer docs to get you up to speed on the organization of the codebase and how each class and project works.

You can download both of these free open source Accessibility Tools at and start testing your websites and apps. I have some work to do!

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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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April 13, 2019 8:26
I feel like you've just shared a tool I've been looking for for the past 25 years! Oh, the horror of either digging through the code in the background to try to figure out where they put the tab stops, or having to go through and set, in reverse order, every single tab stop to zero. Using notepad to edit VB5 form code.
April 13, 2019 23:26
I am using Chrome Canary and it's pretty fast

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.