Web accessibility is a practice of making Web sites accessible to all, particularly those with disabilities. As the Internet becomes a central part of Technology, it is imperative that Technology must be designed and developed in such a way that it provides equal access and usability to every member of target audience. It is becoming increasingly important for government and educational institutions as they try to meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act and various policies and guidelines for online web publishing/hosting.
Accessibility testing seeks to cater to different disabilities affecting:
- Vision e.g. visual blindness
- Auditory e.g. deafness
- Mobility e.g. spinal cord injuries
- Cognition e.g. autism and dementia
“Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 and 2.0” is part of a series of accessibility guidelines published by the Web Accessibility Initiative .It has 3 levels along with a list of checkpoints like
- Level A
- Level AA
- Level AAA
In summation, these guidelines were developed to promote equal accessibility and how to use multimedia content more accessible to a wider audience. Within accessibility testing, the areas that need to be tested are:
- Text alternatives
- Keyboard operability
- Document structure/heading levels
- CSS contrast/element styles
- Forms and tables
There are various tools that can be used to aid accessibility testing:
- JAWS – a screen reader
- The Colour Contrast Analyser
- FAE (Functionality Accessibility Evaluator)
- PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC)
Despite the availability of testing tools, it does not provide a definitive assessment. As a result, manual testing does need to be conducted.
Although accessibility testing is primarily applied to educational and governmental sectors, it should be employed in the private sector as it could improve the marketing and its profits.
Senior Test Analyst