What and Why: Accessibility Testing

Accessibility Testing

Key Takeaways

  1. Accessibility testing ensures people with disabilities have access to software, websites and other digital content.
  2. Testing accessibility can be done manually, automated, or hybrid form.
  3. Automation is the ideal choice. It is less time consuming, cost-efficient, and ensures compliance.
  4. There are different ways of testing accessibility depending on the disability, such as vision, hearing, mobility, and cognition.

What and why: Accessibility testing

Accessibility Testing is software testing that ensures websites and applications can be used by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities such as vision impairment, hearing disabilities, physical and cognitive conditions, and other disadvantaged groups.

Why is Accessibility testing a necessity?

The primary purpose of accessibility testing is to ensure people with disabilities can enjoy access to software, websites, and assistive technology.

It is also the law. Accessibility testing intends to understand if digital content meets the needs of people with disabilities through established accessibility standards:

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to increase a website’s user-friendliness.
  • Section 504 & Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act for equal access to opportunities, services, and technology.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) strongly prohibits discrimination.

 Failure to do so could result in hefty fines and expensive lawsuits.

How is Accessibility testing done?

Testing accessibility is done manually, can be automated, or a hybrid of both. These general testing approaches are primarily used

There are also different ways of testing accessibility depending on the disability:

Automate Everything

The optimum accessibility testing solution is entirely automated. Automated accessibility testing evaluates your documents, web pages, or multiple websites simultaneously for accessibility issues. Not only is it time and cost-efficient, but it is also essential to ensure compliance with accessibility standards and avoid penalties.

It may be impossible to test everything automatically. Still, automation is the ideal choice. Here’s why:

Sample Test Cases Accessibility Testing

You can follow WCAG compliance standards by using this summarized checklist of what accessibility testing consists of regarding textual content, design, development of the website, and access tools:

Conclusion

Accessibility testing aims to assess if your digital tools are easy-to-navigate, is accessible, and is easy to understand. While it benefits everyone, it is especially helpful to people with disabilities. That is why using it in your testing access strategies is important, not as a consideration- it should be a priority.

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