The United Nations estimates that one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, suffer from disabilities, and the prevalence of disabilities is highest in developing countries.
The aim of accessibility testing is to ensure that web and mobile apps are usable by a wider audience. In addition, it assures that the app is accessible to those with disabilities, such as those with vision impairments, hearing impairments, and other physical or cognitive conditions.
Web Accessibility Laws & Policies
Following are some of the well-known web accessibility policies by the government.
Complete list: Web Accessibility Laws & Policies
What is Accessibility Testing?
Accessibility testing is a type of software testing that evaluates whether a digital product, such as a website or application, can be used by people with disabilities. The goal of accessibility testing is to ensure that the product is designed and developed in a way that allows everyone, including those with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive disabilities, to access and use it with ease.
Accessibility testing involves testing a product against a set of accessibility guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), to identify any accessibility barriers or issues that might prevent people with disabilities from using the product. Testers use a variety of tools and techniques to conduct accessibility testing, including screen readers, keyboard-only navigation, color contrast analysis, and more.
The purpose of accessibility testing is to ensure that digital products are inclusive and accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, and to help organizations comply with accessibility regulations and standards. By conducting accessibility testing, organizations can improve the user experience for all users and ensure that their products are accessible to the widest possible audience.
Purpose of Accessibility Testing
The purpose of accessibility testing is to ensure that digital products, such as websites, applications, and software, are designed and developed in a way that allows everyone, including people with disabilities, to access and use them with ease. Accessibility testing helps identify any barriers or issues that might prevent people with disabilities from using a product, and enables organizations to make necessary adjustments to improve accessibility and comply with accessibility regulations and standards.
Some specific purposes of accessibility testing are:
- To ensure compliance with accessibility regulations and standards: Accessibility testing helps organizations comply with laws and regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which require digital products to be accessible to people with disabilities.
- To improve the user experience for all users: By ensuring that digital products are accessible, organizations can improve the user experience for all users, including those without disabilities. This is because many accessibility features, such as clear navigation and color contrast, also benefit users who don’t have disabilities.
- To increase the potential audience and customer base: By making digital products accessible, organizations can reach a wider audience and customer base, including people with disabilities. This can help increase revenue and brand reputation.
Overall, accessibility testing is important to ensure that digital products are inclusive and accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, and to create a more equal and equitable digital world.
How to do Accessibility Testing?
Accessibility testing can be performed in two ways, that is Manual and Automated. Accessibility testing may be challenging for QA because they are not aware of disability or have an understanding of real use cases of accessibility. It further becomes challenging when you have to do accessibility testing on several web pages.
Few ways of performing Accessibility Testing manually
- Text Size: Test the capability to increase the text size so that it’s easily readable.
- Brightness: Test the capability to increase or decrease the brightness
- Zoom Level: Test the capability to increase or decrease the zooming of the screen
- Colour filter: Test the capability to change the colorblindness filter
- High contrast: Test the capability to change the mode of high contrast so that content is highlighted and readable.
In the following section, we will see how accessibility testing can be done in a simple automated way by using a command line tool named Pa11y.
Complete list: Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List
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