MataiNet ADDA is a fast, easy way to evaluate a website's accessibility

MataiNet developed the Accessibility Design Dozen Assessment (ADDA) as a helpful tool in measuring a website's usability and accessibility for seniors and people with disabilities. What does someone mean when they ask "is your website accessible?". The answer probably depends on who is asking. A business manager that created a website to sell products? A product owner that will rely on people using the system? A lawyer? A technical developer? A user?

We created a set of one dozen measurable website design characteristics that suggest whether a person with disability will enjoy using the system. It is that simple! The design elements we selected are rooted in international industry standards including HTML, CSS, and WCAG. However, we measure those elements that are most likely to help a user access the information and functionality of the system, or create a barrier. And we leverage our years of experience and understanding in interpreting the design features of the website being evaluated.

The purpose of the ADDA is to serve as a preliminary tool in learning about accessibility and raising awareness about a specific website's success in providing equal access to people with disabilities. MataiNet does not want to encourage organizations to design to maximize their ADDA scores. (If this happens, we'll just select another dozen!) Rather, the ADDA is a stepping stone to progress.

Each MataiNet ADDA includes the scoring of the dozen design characteristics, and the assignment of an Access Grade. Below is a sample ADDA from an actual assessment, followed by the definitions of the Accessibility Design Dozen, and Access Grades.

Requesting an ADDA

You can use our contact form to request MataiNet to perform an ADDA evaluation of your website.

Sample ADDA

Accessibility Design Dozen:

MataiNet has selected one dozen design elements to help characterize online systems for their relative success in providing equivalent access to seniors and people with disabilities.

Design Element



Skip Link


No skip link provided.



Headings are not used to assist navigation of content.

Text Size


Font size too small, and uses HTML font tag and absolute values rather than CSS and relative.

Link Names


No visited link indicator.

Link Focus





Search form input field missing “for” label association.

Site Map


No site map. (Found several for specific departments.)

Content Order





All forms found are missing “for” label association.



Significant HTML errors on all pages.



Not 508 or WCAG compliant.



Numerous usability design issues.

Scores range from 0 (worst) to 5 (best).

ADDA Score:             1.96

Access Grade:             F+


Users with disabilities and seniors will find the site inaccessible and difficult to use, and may be frustrated by lack of usability. A comprehensive assessment can help guide in the rehabilitation of a system to support access by all potential users.

NOTE: The ADDA is provided as an accessibility learning tool. A high degree of compliance with the design dozen can be a helpful indicator of accessibility. The “design dozen” are not a substitute or shortcut for designing accessible and usable websites.

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Accessibility Design Dozen Definitions

Skip Link        Each page should provide a method to skip repetitive navigation links and content. This permits users to jump over menus and other top-of-page information after loading a page to access the main content immediately. (WCAG 1 AAA 13.6, WCAG 2 A 2.4.1, Section 508 1194.22 (o))

Headings       Headings should be provided in a logical and consistent manner within page content. Corollary: do not use headings strictly for cosmetic effects. This permits assistive technology users to understand the structure of page content and navigate efficiently. ( 9:7, WCAG 1 AA 3.5)

Text Size        Main content text should be a minimum of 12 pt and set using relative units. This permits most users to read comfortably and adjust easily. ( 11:8)

Link Names   Link names should reflect the content of the link, and names such as “Read More” and “Click Here” should be avoided. This permits users with screen readers or magnifiers to understand each link without requiring extra effort. (WCAG 2 A F63, 10:1)

Link Focus     Page links should provide visual indication when on focus. This permits users to determine the current position on the page.

Search           A search tool should be provided to find content within the website. This permits users to locate content based on keywords, and helps to overcome menu design constraints. ( 17:4)

Site Map        Sites should provide a map to content. This permits users to explore content when standard menus are not accessible.

Content Order  Page content should make sense when linearized by a text browser, screen reader, or other assistive technology. This permits users to understand the content.

Forms             Online forms should include markup to permit accessibility. This permits users to understand and use forms such as search forms and contact forms. ( 13:5, 13:18, 13:23, WCAG 1 AA 12.4, WCAG 2 A 4.1.2, Section 508 1194.22(n), others)

Standards      Sites should comply with W3C CSS and HTML standards. Errors in CSS and HTML can create instability and issues with assistive technology and browser platforms. (WCAG 1 AA 3.2)

WCAG           Sites should strive for compliance with WCAG 1 AA as a minimum. (Compliance with WCAG 1 A is insufficient as a goal.) This provides a reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities.

Usability         Sites should follow best practices for usability by seniors. This promotes understanding and access by older users. (, W3C Best Practices, others)

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Access Grade Definitions

“A”                   An Access Grade of “A” is reserved for the best of the best online systems for accessibility and usability. A website with an “A” grade not only complies with international standards that impact accessibility, but also consistently follows best practices in usability design. Users with disabilities are able to navigate content and make use of functionality throughout the website virtually as easily as users without disabilities. An “A” rating is associated with an ADDA score of 4.50 to 5.0.

“B”                   An Access Grade of “B” is designated to websites that provide reasonable accessibility, but with room for improvement. A website with a “B” grade is the outcome of a team that is aware of and committed to accessibility requirements. Seniors and people with disabilities find it simple and efficient to access content in most areas of the website, but may experience moderate difficulty in a few cases. A “B” rating is associated with an ADDA score of4.00 to 4.49.

“C”                   An Access Grade of “C” indicates that a website exhibits evidence of some accessibility and usability practices, but with noticeable inconsistency. A website with a “C” grade is typically the outcome of a team that might be aware of accessibility requirements, but lacks the commitment to validating results. A “C” rating may also be the result of a website that was launched with a high degree of accessibility, but has degraded over time due to poor quality content additions and changes. Users of “C” grade websites will find an inconsistent experience, and may be frustrated by barriers. A “C” rating is associated with an ADDA score of 3.00 to 3.99.

“D”                   An Access Grade of “D” is assigned to online systems with numerous barriers to accessibility, and lacking conformance to best practices for usability design. A website with a “D” grade may partially comply with standards for coding and styling, but fails to validate in areas that likely impact accessibility, and offers few or no accessibility features. A user with disabilities may be able to partially navigate the content of these websites, but requiring great effort and inducing significant frustration. A “D” rating is associated with an ADDA score of 2.00 to 2.99.

“F”                   An Access Grade of “F” is assigned to online systems with severe barriers to access by people with disabilities, and absent evidence of best practices for usability. A website with an “F” grade is most likely the outcome of a team with no awareness of (or commitment to) the accessibility and usability requirements related to seniors and people with disabilities. This rating indicates that a user with disabilities will not be able to successfully navigate the content of the website. An “F” rating is associated with an ADDA score of 0.00 to 1.99.

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