How to use the WAVE Evaluation Tool

The WAVE Evaluation Tool is a free browser extension provided by WebAIM that can help you find and fix common accessibility issues on web pages. It’s a great tool to help you learn about digital accessibility.

Once you install the WAVE extension, go into Manage Extensions (in Chrome, it’s the puzzle piece icon at the top right of your browser window). Then click the “pin” icon next to WAVE Evaluation Tool so the tool is in easy reach.

Arrow pointing to the Extensions Manager icon

You should now see the WAVE icon in your browser toolbar. It's dark gray circle with a white W:

Toolbar with WAVE icon circled

Click the icon to turn it off and on. Here’s what it will look like when you turn it on:

WAVE interface show summary of issues listed in one pane and web page with graphic markers in the other.

Click the tabs in the Summary section (left):

  • In the Details section, you’ll find more information about any issues. Click on the “i” icon for more information about each element.
  • In the Order section, review the numbers to make sure they start at the top left and move through the page in a logical order. This is the Tab order for keyboard-only users.
  • If you aren't a web developer, you can ignore the ARIA label information– you won’t have access to this in your content management system.
  • Remember, automated testing tools can only find some accessibility issues.

Introduction to WAVE (video 11:20)

Introduction to WAVE