What is Accessibility Testing?

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Sarah Deery's profile
Sarah Deery

Learning And Development Specialist

Ady Stokes's profile
Ady Stokes

Quality Engineering Architect

Talk Description

So, what is accessibility testing? 

Accessibility testing is about making sure digital products like websites and apps are usable by everybody. While it is a broad and complicated subject with lots to learn, accessibility testing can be as simple as making sure everything can be accessed and operated with a keyboard. One of the main routes to compliance are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG.

Do you have any examples?

Let's start with some simple examples of accessibility testing for a web page. When the page loads, the keyboard focus should be at the top. If the page has a menu, whether across the top or down the side, there should be the option to jump or skip that menu to get directly to the content. Called a skip to main link, this option saves people who use a keyboard having to tab through the menus every time on each page. While you check that skip link, can you see where the keyboard focus is? Keyboard focus helps people understand where they are on the page they are navigating. 

And what are the benefits?

There are many benefits from having accessible digital products. Accessibility testing helps companies by reducing the risk of legal actions and making sure as many people as possible can access their services. Ensuring your product or service is inclusive to people with disabilities opens up a potential new market you could be missing out on. 

Any pitfalls?

There are some pitfalls of accessibility testing that come up regularly. The myth that automated testing tools are all you need to ensure accessibility. Unfortunately, even using a combination of multiple tools, you can only cover around forty to fifty percent of all web content accessibility guidelines. A few other pitfalls include thinking it's a one time action, not part of the whole development process, not consulting a wide range of users for feedback, and that accessibility isn't part of the design. Great. So now we know about accessibility testing.

Learn More with Ministry of Testing

Sarah Deery's profile'

Sarah Deery

Learning And Development Specialist

Sarah Deery is a Learning And Development Specialist at Ministry of Testing. Her main aim is to help software testers turn their vast knowledge and skills into bite-sized chunks suitable for the community to digest. She used to do things in her spare time but now she has a toddler.
Ady Stokes's profile'

Ady Stokes

Quality Engineering Architect

@A11y_Ady on Twitter (X). Passionate about accessibility, exploring and testing as part of the creation and development of software. I help teams build better software and I strongly believe in collaborative methods and using different thought techniques and people perspectives to look at things from many angles. Accessibility is about inclusion, not just disability. In my career I’ve been a Director. Test, BI and Logistics Manager. Tester, Test Engineer, QA, Site Lead Tester, Quality Engineering Architect and any other value adding role required at the time. I have also taught, coached and mentored people throughout my career. My career highlight is creating the Software Tester Apprenticeship for the Coders Guild and training people to get their first role in IT through government sponsored free training courses based on my apprenticeship. I have my own blog at The Big Test Theory.com sharing my thoughts, occasional poetry and my Periodic Table of Testing, a visual heuristic showing the breadth of the testing universe.
So, Ady, what is accessibility testing?
Accessibility testing is about making sure digital products
like websites and apps are usable by everybody.
While it is a broad and complicated subject with lots to learn,
accessibility testing can be as simple as making sure
everything can be accessed and operated with a keyboard.
One of the main routes to compliance are the Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG.
Got any examples?
Let's start with some simple examples of accessibility
testing for a web page.
When the page loads, the keyboard focus should be at the top.
If the page has a menu,
whether across the top or down the side,
there should be the option to jump or skip that menu to get
directly to the content.
Called a skip to main link,
this option saves people who use a keyboard having to tab
through the menus every time on each page.
While you check that skip link,
can you see where the keyboard focus is?
Keyboard focus helps people understand where they are on
the page they are navigating.
And what are the benefits?
There are many benefits from having accessible digital products.
Accessibility testing helps companies by reducing the risk
of legal actions and making sure as many people as possible
can access their services.
Ensuring your product or service is inclusive to people
with disabilities opens up a potential new market
you could be missing out on.
Any pitfalls?
There are some pitfalls of accessibility testing that come up regularly.
The myth that automated testing tools are all you need to
ensure accessibility.
Unfortunately, even using a combination of multiple tools,
you can only cover around forty to fifty percent of all web
content accessibility guidelines.
A few other pitfalls include thinking it's a one time
action, not part of the whole development process,
not consulting a wide range of users for feedback,
and that accessibility isn't part of the design.
Great. So now we know about accessibility testing.
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Tags

  • accessibility