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October 23, 2002

LTA Overview

Bobby is a Web software tool designed to help evaluate and repair barriers to accessibility to the web for people with disabilities and facilitate compliance with existing accessibility standards and guidelines (Federal Section 508). Bobby will almost instantaneously provide feedback on the URL you submit listing errors or listing items that require a manual check to evaluate compliance. It is designed for developers to test web pages and generate summary reports pointing to those issues affecting site accessibility. Bobby was created at CAST, a not-for-profit research and development organization whose goal is to expand opportunities for people with disabilities through the innovative use of computer technology.


Norman Coombs, Ph.D.
EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information)


Richard Banks


Bobby will let the user select between being evaluated by either the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative’s guidelines (http://w3.org/wai) or the more recent Federal Section 508 standards (http://www.access-board.gov) set forth by the Access Board. Like any software program, Bobby cannot check accurately for everything. Many items are a matter of human judgment. Nevertheless, it is an excellent resource and a good place to begin evaluating a web site for its accessibility.

To use Bobby, go to http://www.cast.org/bobby, select whether you want to be measured against the WAI guidelines or the Section 508 standards. Then, in the edit field, input the URL of a web page you want to check. You will get a report almost immediately. A web developer will readily understand the results. Others may find it somewhat daunting at first, but with a little knowledge about web accessibility features, it becomes easier to understand. Both the WAI and Access Board pages provide more in-depth information on the guidelines and standards. There are several books published on web accessibility. EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information) provides several online courses providing the know-how to create accessible pages and to repair those that fail to comply with the guidelines and standards. http://easi.cc/workshop.htm

(In July 2002, Watchfire acquired Bobby from CAST and has assumed responsibility for the continuing development, marketing, and distribution of the technology.)

Check the additional resource below to learn more about Bobby.
Bobby (Instructions)



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