Website accessibility checkers or ADA website compliance checkers these are more appropriately referred to as automated scans or automated accessibility scans.
They’re automated tools and they detect accessibility issues but the way they work is they use if-this, then-that rules.
These scans are not conclusive.
A scan is the start and it’s a very good start- it helps shortcut the process it helps reduce human error in in manual audits and quickly identify issues, but it doesn’t come close to checking for everything.
You can’t take the scan results, get the scan to show 0 errors and then think that your website is accessible.
A scan can return false negatives and that’s very, very important because it means there’s an accessibility and accessibility issue still exists whereas none is showing through automation.
What is important is that scans are used by several law firms as a way to create the basis for their claims that there are accessibility issues.
Scans are very simple and easy to use and that’s why so many people focus in on them, but there is much more to accessibility than just the scan.
Now what are the differences between the different scans?
There’s actually not too much of a difference between most of the scans some of the scans are more basic and other of the scans are going to include more accessibility issues and maybe they don’t a lot of times they don’t flag the entire accessibility issue as it pertains to a WCAG success criterion but it will it will be like a partial flag.
The best scan is the Web Accessibility Evaluation tool or WAVE tool by webaim.org but there are other scans such as the Google Lighthouse is one and it’s based on the- Google lighthouse is really a subset based on AXE Core that is developed by Deque.
And there’s another scan called Power Mapper.
The best one to me is not the one that catches the most issues, but it’s the one that is highly accurate it’s worked on it’s very popular it’s used by plaintiffs lawyers is the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, WAVE tool.
Most scans are free. There are some premium scans but unless you need the scan to login to a page, then you likely don’t need to buy a premium scan.
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