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Understanding accessibility testing

Published On: Mar 01 2023
Written By: Krishnan Sethuraman
Category: Technology

Accessibility testing is a type of system testing designed to determine whether individuals with disabilities will be able to use the system. A good application should be accessible even to older people and people who are not very litterate. 

Many countries like USA, UK, Ireland etc, have rules and regulations that make accessibility testing mandatory for websites and web applications. Companies can be sued if they fail accessibility testing. 

People with disablities use assistive technologies which helps them in operating a software. Speech recognition software, screen reader software, screen magnification software are some of the assistive technologies that people use. 

Accessibility testing can be performed by manual and automated ways. 

What to check for in manual accessibility testing

  1. Whether an application provides keyboard quivalents for all mouse operations and windows. There should be short cut keys for scrolling etc.
  2. Whether instructions are provided as a part of user documentation or user manual. Is it easy to understand and operate the application using the documentation? Multi language support for documentation.
  3. Whether tabs are ordered logically to ensure smooth navigation?
  4. Whether application supports all operating systems
  5. Whether response time of each screen or page is clearly mentioned so that end users know how long to wait
  6. Whether all the labels are written correctly in the application?
  7. Whether color of the application is flexible for all users?
  8. Whether images or icons are used appropriately, so its easily understood by the end users
  9. Whether an application has audio alerts?

Tools that can be used to perform accessibility testing

Sort site is widely used in the industry and is quite popular. It is a paid software. There are also many opensource alternatives like Pa11y

Love this video tutorial on accessibility testing

Accessibility scan on this site using Sort site