There is a lot of focus on accessibility and inclusive design in websites and mobile phone apps, but the topic of accessibility shouldn't just be limited to the users.

However, I am sure that there would only be a handful of designers out there that would have first hand experience of having to work with design tools that are not necessarily built with accessibility in mind, even if these design tools are used to create accessible apps and websites. I wonder if more accessible design tools would allow people of all abilities to be involved in more stages of the design process, and lead to more accessible designs and products in general.

Has anyone come across any type of accessibility review or assessment of web based or desktop design tools?

A basic Google search didn't come up with anything useful except for all the accessibility audit tools that are out there, including plugins for popular design tools.

  • 1
    Related: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/123916/… Jun 30, 2022 at 9:22
  • @locationunknown question was from more than 3 years ago and there wasn't a lot of answers back then. I hope that we have a more diverse group of designers working in various organisations these days.
    – Michael Lai
    Jun 30, 2022 at 23:08

1 Answer 1


Found a paper from last year's CHI conference titled Accessibility of High-Fidelity Prototyping Tools (PDF) in which different design tools are tested with screen readers.

We assessed conformance of four prototyping tools (Sketch, Adobe XD, Balsamiq, UXPin) with accessibility guidelines, using two screen readers (Narrator and VoiceOver), focusing our analysis on GUI element accessibility and critical workflows used to create prototypes.

Not surprisingly, they didn't fare that well, at least in all areas.

This study showed that though some basic elements were accessible via screen reader, on the whole, prototype tools were not accessible via screen readers. Specifcally, though some tools’ GUI elements were basically accessible to screen readers, key functions and manipulations were not.


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