Accessibility testing is a type of testing designed to determine whether individuals with disabilities are able to use an application, which could be software, hardware, or some other type of product or service.
Similar to usability testing, in that the product or service is tested to ensure it is easy for its intended audience to use, accessibility testing specifically looks at the needs of users that use a range of assistive technologies such as trackball devices, voice recognition software and screen readers.
Accessibility makes content resources usable for a person with disabilities, primarily through careful attention to the simplified content navigation, separation of presentation style and actual symbolic content. It involves designing websites, so that people with disabilities are able to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web.
It is not just a social awareness undertaking either with Governments bringing in non-discriminatory legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010 in the UK and Section 508 in the US, to ensure that the Accessibility Guidelines are followed during development and tested thereafter.
Our comprehensive Accessibility Testing Framework comprising tools (a mix of both commercial and open-source/free tools) and techniques is available to identify accessibility issues and its resolution in a quick time-bound manner. We have successfully implemented this and keep evolving with updated tools and trends in Accessibility.
Accessibility testing strategy
Understand the customer’s desired and applicable accessibility guidelines and barriers
- Each of these guidelines will be evaluated and categorised into one of three compliance levels (A, AA, AAA) whether the test are manual or automated.
- Browser and browser versions are checked#
- Evaluate website functionality
- Understand the web application and services functionality and perceived utilisation for different ability users.
- Understand user experiences with similar products and any problems faced
- Arrk has mapped tools (WAVE, Screen readers like JAWS, NVDA, Contrast Analyser, Total Validator, Readability checkers, browser add-ons, PEAT etc.) against checkpoints suited for various browsers.
- No single tool validates all checkpoints, instead a combination of analyst judgement and tool selection comes into play
Model the risks
- What can go wrong as per accessibility checkpoints within the compliance level targeted?
- Identify likely failures
Practice the testing models and build testing models while exploring the application
Improvise. Create heuristics and methods, use tools and assistive technologies where possible