Accessibility Testing is one of the Software Testing, in which the process of testing the degree of ease of use of a software application for individuals with certain disabilities. It is performed to ensure that any new component can easily be accessible by physically disabled individuals despite any respective handicaps. Accessibility testing is part of the system testing process and is somehow similar to usability testing. In the accessibility testing process, the tester uses the system or component as it would be used by individuals with disabilities. Individuals can have disabilities like visual disability, hearing disability, learning disability, or non-functional organs. Accessibility testing is a subset of usability testing where the users under consideration are specific people with disabilities.
This testing focuses on verifying both usability and accessibility. Some examples of such software are:
- Speech recognition software: This software changes the spoken words to text and works as an input to the computer system.
- Screen reader software: This software is used to help low vision or blind individuals read the text on the screen with a braille display or voice synthesizer.
- Screen magnification software: This software is used to help vision-impaired persons as it will enlarge the text and objects on the screen, thus making reading easier.
- Special keyboard: There are some specially designed keyboards for individuals with motor control problems. These keyboards help them to type quickly.
Factors to Measure Web Accessibility:
- Pop-ups: Pop-ups can confuse visually disabled users. The screen reader reads out the page from top to bottom and a sudden pop-up arrives the reader will start reading it first before the actual content.
- Language: It is very important to make sentences simple and easily readable for cognitively disabled users as they have learning difficulties.
- Navigation: It is important to maintain the consistency of the website and not to modify the web pages regularly. Adjusting to new layouts is time-consuming.
- Marque text: It is best practice to avoid shiny text and keep the text on the website simple.
Purpose of Accessibility Testing:
1. Cater market for disabled people: To serve to market for disabled people like individuals with blindness, deaf, and handicapped, to support social inclusion for people with disabilities as well as other categories of people like older people, and people living in rural areas.
2. Abide by accessibility legislation: Government agencies have come out with legalizations that require Its products to be accessible to disabled people. Some of the legal acts by various government agencies are:
- Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG): WCAG is the strategies that are established to help increase the user-friendliness of the website.
- Rehabilitation Act Section 504: This section aims to help people with disabilities by providing workspace access and education.
- Rehabilitation Act Section 508: This section aims to help people by giving them access to technology.
- Americans Disability Act (ADA): This rule says that all areas such as schools, organizations, or public buildings should make tools that everyone uses.
- Australia: Disability Discrimination Act – 1992: This act makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person in many areas like employment, education, renting, or buying a house, etc.
- United Kingdom: Disability Discrimination Act – 1995: This act aims to protect disabled people against various forms of discrimination.
- United States: Americans with Disabilities Act – 1990: This is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas like jobs, schools, transport, etc.
3. Avoid potential lawsuits: In the past few companies like Netflix, Blue Apron, and Winn-Dixie were sued because their products were not disabled-friendly.
Types of Disability:
These are the following types of disability:
- Visual Disability: It includes complete blindness color blindness or poor eyesight. It also includes some visual problems like visual strobe and intermittently flashes problems. Hence it is tested whether the brightness and contrast of the software layout are adjustable or not.
- Physical Disability: It includes difficulty in using a keyboard or mouse. It also includes slow and lazy body-like hand movements and muscle slowness. Hence software is tested for the convenience of lazy persons.
- Hearing Disability: It includes auditory problems like deafness and hearing impairments. It also focuses on the difficulty of hearing well or hearing clearly. hence software is tested whether a person with less hearing ability can use it properly or not.
- Cognitive Disability: It includes learning difficulties, poor memory, and problems in understanding complex scenarios. Hence to make the software reliable it is tested whether it can be used by a person with poor memory.
- Learning Disability: It includes reading problems and problems in which a person finds words difficult. So the software is tested whether the language is compatible with reading and words used are easy to understand.
How to Perform Accessibility Testing?
Accessibility Testing can be performed in 2 ways:
1. Manual Accessibility Testing
There are various tools available in the market to test the accessibility of a software application but many available tools are highly costly and/or are less skilled as per requirements. Therefore, manual testing is performed to check the accessibility of the software product. For example:
- Test brightness of software: Check the brightness of the software product. Check whether it is adjustable or not. Check if is it good for a person with less eyesight.
- Test the sound of software: Check the sound performance of the software. Check whether it is properly usable by a deaf person.
- Testing for captions: Check that the caption is visible and expressive. For example, on websites the images may take time to load in that case good captions help to understand what is in the picture and video.
- Modifying font size to large: Check the availability of the large font size and use the large font size.
- Use high contrast mode: High contrast mode helps to highlight the website’s content.
- Turning off cascading style sheet (CSS): Turning off CSS helps to check the background color, text style, and text presentation style.
- Use field label: The field label is what is seen while viewing the template. It is useful while filling out the form so that one can fill out the necessary information while signing up or while placing the order.
- Testing zooming: Test the zoom option to see if the image is visible or not.
- Skip Navigation: Tests if clicking Ctrl+Home moves the focus to the top of the page or not. This is helpful for people with motor disabilities.
2. Automated Accessibility Testing
Automation is widely used in different testing techniques. In the automated process, there are several automated tools for accessibility testing. These tools include:
- WebAnywhere: It is a screen reader tool and it requires no special installation.
- Hera: It is used to check the style of the software application.
- Designer: This tool is useful for testing the software from the viewpoint of visually impaired people.
- Vischeck: This tool helps to reproduce the image in various forms and helps to visualize how the image will look when it is accessed by different types of users.
3. Hybrid Accessibility Testing:
The Hybrid Accessible method is always the best method to ensure the website is accessible. At first, you can use only a few features such as navigating and scrolling the page with the keyboard and are not able to test with the help of any software.
Sample Test Cases Accessibility Testing:
Below are some of the sample test cases for accessibility testing:
- If the labels are correctly placed and written or not.
- If the instructions are provided as a part of user documentation or manual.
- If the instructions provided are easy to understand or not.
- If the application has followed all the principles and guidelines or not.
- Is a meaningful caption provided or not?
- If the instructions are given or not.
- If the audio and video-related content is properly heard by all disabled people.
- If the content is clear, concise, or understandable or not.
- If training is provided for users with disabilities will enable them to become familiar with the software.
- If the highlighting is viewable with inverted colors or not.
Myths about Accessibility Testing:
Below are some of the myths associated with accessibility testing:
- Costly: Accessibility testing is not constant if the accessibility issues are identified at the design phase besides the extensive testing, thus the cost and extra rework can be reduced.
- Time-consuming to convert inaccessible websites to accessible: It is not important to integrate all modifications at one time, prioritize things and work on the basic needs first.
- Accessibility is boring: It is not necessary to include only text in the website to make it accessible, images can also be included to make it more attractive but the major concern is to make it accessible for every category of the person.
- Accessibility testing is only for disabled persons: It is a myth that accessibility is for only disabled individuals, all types of users can use accessibility testing and enhance the credibility of the software.
Accessibility Testing Tools:
Below are the top 5 accessibility testing tools:
The WAVE tool was developed by WebAIM to evaluate the accessibility of web content. It evaluates the accessibility of web content by annotating the copy of the web page.
- It performs accessibility evaluation on the browser and does not save anything on the server.
- It can identify many accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) errors.
- It also facilitates human evaluation of the web content.
SortSite is a one-click user experience testing tool for Mac, OS X, and Windows. This tool is used for websites, inside or outside the firewall.
- This tool is compatible with Mobile browsers, Desktop browsers, and Internet Explorer.
- It checks for HTTP error codes and script errors.
- It scans the entire website for quality issues including browser compatibility, accessibility, broken links, etc.
Job Access With Speech (JAWS) is the world’s most popular screen reader. It is developed for individuals whose vision loss prevents them from seeing the screen content and navigating with a mouse.
- It includes two multi-lingual synthesizers, Eloquence, and Vocalizer Expressive.
- It works with IE, Firefox, and Microsoft Office and supports Windows and touchscreen gestures.
- It provides Braille input from the Braille Keyboard and also includes drivers for Braille display.
It provides a combination of automated and manual testing services to evaluate website accessibility.
- This tool is used by visually impaired QA engineers who know exactly what is needed to make a website accessible.
- It helps to discover issues like structural issues, contrast errors, etc.
- It also creates a compliance report containing a summary of errors detected.
5. DYNO Mapper
It is one of the best website accessibility testing tools for testing site accessibility on all online applications.
- It includes daily keyword tracking, content inventory, and site auditing.
- It evaluates the HTML content of the website and can create a sitemap for any URL.
- It also imports XML files to generate the sitemap.
Benefits of Accessibility Testing:
- Efficient access: Accessibility testing makes sure that the product provides easy and efficient access to users with disabilities or challenges.
- Increase market share: It helps to increase the audience reach by making the product disabled-friendly and increasing the target audience thus increasing the market share.
- Improves efficiency: Accessibility testing improves the maintainability and efficiency of the product.
- Legal compliance: Product companies can avoid a host of legal tangles and penalties by implementing accessibility testing for their products and services.
- Improve code quality: Accessibility testing increases the scope of usability testing and creates a high-quality codebase for the finished product and services.
- Improved SEO: Accessibility-friendly websites contain rich text content, thus enabling search engines to locate them while looking up relevant content easily.
Master Software Testing and Automation in an efficient and time-bound manner by mentors with real-time industry experience. Join our Software Automation Course
and embark on an exciting journey, mastering the skill set with ease!
What We Offer:
- Comprehensive Software Automation program
- Expert Guidance for Efficient Learning
- Hands-on Experience with Real-world Projects
- Proven Track Record with 10,000+ Successful Geeks