In 2023, digital accessibility is not only a legal requirement or a good business practice, but also a fundamental aspect of ensuring that all users can access and consume digital content. At Continual Engine, we constantly innovate to provide more intelligent and efficient ways to make content accessible. One of these ways is through automated accessibility testing.
This blog will delve into automated accessibility testing, its fundamental concepts, and its crucial significance in the digital landscape, as well as operational mechanics. We will also discuss its manifold advantages for digital content creation and user engagement.
The Power Of Automated Accessibility Testing
Automated accessibility testing refers to evaluating a digital asset or platform to determine its degree of compliance with accessibility standards, guidelines, and best practices, using software tools and technologies. With automation, accessibility testing is streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective.
The Importance Of Automated Accessibility Testing
Accessible content is not a luxury, but a necessity, especially for users with disabilities. Automated accessibility testing empowers companies to create content that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.
Streamlining Accessibility Compliance Efforts
Automated accessibility testing can help organizations stay ahead of regulatory requirements, such as WCAG 2.1 AA and Section 508 guidelines, by providing a faster and more accurate evaluation of accessibility features, saving the organization from potential penalties and lawsuits.
Boosting User Engagement And Reach
For organizations that value user experience, automated accessibility testing can help boost user engagement with digital content as it is accessible to all. This increases their confidence to solve accessibility issues and provides a better experience.
Staying Ahead Of Legal And Regulatory Requirements
Web accessibility laws and regulations vary from country to country, state to state, and federally. Automated accessibility testing ensures better compliance with laws, reducing the risk of legal challenges.
Automated Accessibility Testing Use Cases
Accessibility testing automation tools are designed to ensure that digital assets are interactive and accessible. Here are a few significant use cases:
Labels: Enhancing Navigability For Screen Readers
Automated accessibility tests scan the code of digital content, recognize relevant labels, and create descriptions in combination to enable screen readers to provide complete navigability to the user.
Readability And Text Contrast: Aiding Visually Impaired Users
One of the core features of accessibility is color contrast. Automated accessibility testing can identify when the text contrast is insufficient, shadow or outline images, and recognize accessible fonts that will aid the visually impaired.
Hit Area Size: Enabling Effortless Interaction
Automated accessibility testing identifies controls, forms, inputs, and buttons with a suitable (minimum) size for quick and easy access for all users without relying on manual testing methods, which can quickly become impractical.
View Hierarchy Of UI: Structured Content Delivery
Automated accessibility testing can identify tab indexable fields, breadcrumb navigation, page navigation, header structure, and more for users with motor control impairments.
Dynamic Font Size: Tailoring Content For Various Needs
Automated accessibility testing identifies when a site can increase the font size for users with sight challenges.
Internal And External Links: Seamless Navigation
Automated accessibility testing detects links, distinguishes whether they are internal or external, and checks if they have sufficient details, so users with mobility and cognitive disabilities can navigate without hassle.
Reviewing HTML And CSS: Ensuring Structural Accessibility
Automated accessibility testing checks websites or other digital content to ensure that structural accessibility elements such as titles and header tags have been included in HTML to help users with screen readers.
Advantages Of Automated Accessibility Testing
Efficient And Consistent Evaluation
In addition to being efficient, automated accessibility testing provides consistent evaluation across all digital assets, including applications, websites, mobiles, and software platforms.
Time And Cost Savings
Automated accessibility testing reduces the time and cost of manual testing and provides faster remediation of accessibility issues.
Scalability For Large-Scale Projects
Automated accessibility testing accommodates large projects with hundreds or thousands of pages or assets.
Rapid Identification And Resolutions
Automated accessibility testing enables prompt and reliable identification of accessibility issues in digital content. It then reports these issues, significantly reducing the time to triage.
PREP: The Automated Accessibility Solution
At Continual Engine, we are driving accessibility forward through our product suite, led by our PDF & Document Remediation Platform (PREP).
PREP is among the most sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled platforms on the market today and enables organizations to create and deliver high quality content that is accessible to everyone. PREP helps make remediation more efficient and standardized by identifying accessibility issues and providing suitable solutions for swift remediation. Continual Engine’s PREP ensures compliance with accessible guidelines and offers better insights for the future accessibility of digital content.
Automated Accessibility Testing Tools
Exploring A Range Of Automated Accessibility Testing Tools
Various automated accessibility testing tools and software suites are available to help organizations build accessible content from the outset. At Continual Engine, we provide W3C validator checks, 508 accessibility testing, and more.
Harnessing Technology For Seamless Accessibility Integration
Automated accessibility testing tools allow proactive remediation of accessibility challenges before they hinder user interaction. It melds technology with the expertise of human reviewers to ensure excellent end-to-end service delivery.
Merging AI And Human Ingenuity
Continual Engine’s AI-powered platforms combine emergent technologies with human expertise, including generative AI, machine learning, deep learning, and automation. This combination allows us to identify complex accessibility optimizations.
Manual Vs Automated Accessibility Testing
The Pros And Cons Of Manual Accessibility Testing
Manual accessibility testing involves human reviewers who examine an asset or code to identify its accessibility and compliance. Its limitations include being prone to human errors, expensive, time-consuming, and hard to scale.
The Potential Of Automated Testing
Automated accessibility testing has come to the forefront as an alternative to manual testing. It is a faster, more cost-effective, and scalable solution, capable of examining various digital assets automatically and offering more rapid remediation of issues.
Achieving Optimal Results Through A Hybrid Approach
By employing an adequate combination of manual and automated accessibility testing, organizations can achieve optimal results, minimizing the potential for errors, and providing faster and cost-efficient operation.
Embracing The Future: The Role of Automation In Accessibility
The Evolving Landscape Of Digital Accessibility
As technology grows, accessibility must keep up with the newest innovations, continuously adopting best practices that ensure accessibility for all.
Pioneering Change: How Automated Testing Shapes The Future
Automation transforms accessibility testing by enabling it to be more affordable, faster, consistent, and scalable.
Empowering A Diverse Digital Audience
Through automated accessibility testing, we help organizations build a more inclusive digital world by enabling access to digital content regardless of the user’s abilities.
Automated accessibility testing is an exciting and beneficial tool for any organization looking to create digital content that is accessible to everyone.
At Continual Engine, we remain committed to making digital content accessible to all through innovative and affordable solutions that deliver transformative and comprehensive accessibility services and solutions.
Automated accessibility testing is the future that provides organizations with faster, more efficient, and consistent ways to make content accessible to everyone. With Continual Engine, make accessibility a prominent part of your strategy and create digital content that is accessible to all.
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