Accessible design tools can be grouped into two different categories:
The first category includes design tools used most commonly during the early ideation and iteration phases of the design process. These tools enable team members to participate in the process of brainstorming, sketching, and ideation. There are a limited number of tools available that are open source and/or relatively easy to learn and use, such as:
The second category of design tools are used to execute a design idea. Few of the most common design tools in use today have accessibility features (for example, the ability to attach descriptive text narratives to images, to enlarge the controls, or to navigate and execute designs using a screen reader).
There are a limited number of design tools available in the first category that are free, open source and/or relatively easy to learn, such as:
- Google Draw - open source, can activate Accessibility options and use with a screenreader
- Omnigraffle - not open source or particularly accessible, but easier to learn and use than Adobe Creative Suite or other sketching tools
- Google Sketchup - Free but not very accessible
There are several tools that enable designers to check the accessibility of their final design, such as: