What is Accessibility Testing? - TestingQ.com

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What is Accessibility Testing?

Accessibility testing is a subset of usability testing where in the users under consideration are people with all abilities and disabilities. The significance of this testing is to verify both usability and accessibility.

Accessibility aims to cater people of different abilities such as:
  • Visual Impairments
  • Physical Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Learning Impairment
A good web application should cater to all sets of people and NOT just limited to disabled people. These include:
  • Users with poor communications infrastructure
  • Older people and new users, who are often computer illiterate
  • Users using old system (NOT capable of running the latest software)
  • Users, who are using NON-Standard Equipment
  • Users, who are having restricted access
How to Perform Accessibility Testing
The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) describes the strategy for preliminary and conformance reviews of web sites. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) includes a list of software tools to assist with conformance evaluations. These tools range from specific issues such as colour blindness to tools that will perform automated spidering tools.

Web accessibility Testing Tools
Product           Vendor                    URL
AccVerify         HiSoftware       http://www.hisoftware.com
Bobby         Watchfire               http://www.watchfire.com
WebXM         Watchfire               http://www.watchfire.com
Ramp Ascend Deque               http://www.deque.com
InFocus         SSB Technologies    http://www.ssbtechnologies.com/

Role of Automated Tools in Acceptance Testing
The above said automated accessibility testing tools are very good at identifying pages and lines of code that need to be manually checked for accessibility.
  • check the syntax of the site's code
  • Search for known patterns that humans have listed
  • identify pages containing elements that may cause problems
  • identify some actual accessibility problems
  • identify some potential problems
The interpretation of the results from the automated accessibility testing tools requires experience in accessibility techniques with an understanding of technical and usability issues.

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