Accessibility evaluations are intended to ensure that a website is accessible to all user groups. When we say “all user groups,” we mean that a website is usable by an abled user, as well as a specially abled user, such as blind or partially blind users, deaf users, users suffering from epilepsy or Parkinson’s, among others. Web accessibility testing ensures that a website is compliant with legal obligations and enhances the usability of products for users who have single or multiple forms of disabilities. An accessibility evaluation also helps us to fulfill the social responsibility of making a global usable product or website. There are many checklists, guidelines, and tutorials available in the market to complete this evaluation. The purpose of this blog is to explain a few techniques and give a step-by-step execution process.
Web accessibility guidelines are a set of checklists, which ensure that web content is accessible to all user groups. There are various guidelines defined by different countries, which help fulfill the usability requirements specific to each country. Below are the most common accessibility guidelines.
An accessibility evaluation of a website or webpages can be started as soon as the scope of the evaluation is decided. We can start with a quick round of tests using Achecker, and then we can proceed further with manual testing using screen readers, color contrast analyzers, and assistive devices like keyboards. Below is the detailed description on how to assess the accessibility of websites.
We can start the accessibility evaluation using Achecker. Achecker is a web accessibility evaluation tool that helps developers and testers conduct a quick test of the accessibility of webpages based on various accessibility guidelines. Below are the steps to perform when testing webpages using Achecker.
A screen reader allows users with a partial or complete visual disability to read the screen. There are a number of screen readers available in market; the most popular screen readers are NVDA and Voice Over. Below are the details of these screen readers
|Screen Reader||Supporting OS||Screen Reader Description|
|NVDA||Microsoft Windows||Screen Reader for Windows. You can visit its resources website for a quick overview of commands of NVDA|
|Voice Over||Apple Mac||Mac in-build Screen Reader. You can visit its two guides (here and here) for a quick overview of commands of Voice Over|
An accessibility evaluation using a screen reader ensures that a user who is blind or has very low vision can read the screen. Screen readers help visually-impaired users to read text, headings, lists, tables, forms, links, etc. used inside a webpage. Below are examples of accessing different controls present on a webpage through a screen reader.
Accessing Headings on a Webpage
In order to read all of the headings on a webpage:
Accessing Tables on a Webpage
In order to read a table present in a webpage:
Accessing Forms on the Webpage
In order to read the form present on a webpage:
Accessing Links on the Webpage
In order to read links present on the webpage:
A high contrast mode evaluation of a webpage is a very important part of the accessibility evaluation. After changing the color scheme to a different high contrast mode, the tester needs to evaluate that all of the content of the page changes in relation to the selected color scheme, as well as ensuring that important information is not removed from the webpage.