ChromeShades - find accessibility problems and experience the web without sight.
ChromeShades is an easy tool to help you make your site more accessible to blind users.
Simply install the Chrome extension and everything in your browser is reformatted as text-only, organized more like how a blind user would perceive the page with a screen reader. Your page should still be totally functional - you can still click on links, buttons, and other controls. Don't just look at the page - test workflows just like you'd test the app normally.
ChromeShades doesn't have any list of rules it tries to enforce. Instead, it just takes away styling and layout that a blind user will be unable to perceive, and it's up to you to decide whether the end result makes sense or not. Changes you make to your site to make it work better in ChromeShades will almost certainly help screen reader users too.
ChromeShades is not a substitute for real testing, but it's a lot easier and will help you get 90% of the way there
How does this compare to other tools?
ChromeShades was inspired by tools like Fangs, but most other accessibility analysis tools were designed for static webpages. ChromeShades was designed for interactive web apps.
Can I just turn turn off page style / disable CSS and get the same effect?
For simple pages, yes - but that probably won't work for most dynamic pages because anything hidden using display or visibility won't function anymore - note that modern screen readers only access what's actually visible on the page, just like any other user. Turning off CSS also won't help you test whether or not titles, labels, and ARIA attributes have been applied correctly.
For more information, see the user guide:
You may have already seen ChromeShades before - it was released in disguise as ChromeLite, an April Fools Joke: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bjekedpipaedojkbialnhabcecmfpofh