What is Accessibility Testing: An Introduction

What is Accessibility Testing

What is Accessibility Testing: An Introduction

With most services becoming digitized, the dependency on mobile applications and online services is growing. It used to be the case that we would have traditional alternatives to compensate for the lack of availability of a digital medium. But even the most basic services are becoming solely available through digital means.

Taking this level of dependency into consideration, we must think about and put in mind the various and diverse nature of users-Abled and Disabled– And with that notion in mind, Q-Pros believes that all software applications must be accessible and available for usage for all users, and we set out to make sure that everyone has the right to an efficient digital experience.

In this article, we will discuss a software testing type called Accessibility Testing, what it means and how we do it.

Why is it Important to Test Accessibility?

Based on statistics published by the world bank, 15% of the planet’s population undergo some sort of disability, which amounts to over one billion people.

For that reason alone, we really must take accessibility seriously to make sure our applications and digital services in general are usable by all people regardless of capability.

Types of Disabilities

Physical Disability – The type of disability that affects people’s ability to interact with applications on a hardware level.

Cognitive Disabilities – The type of disability that involves having difficulties in understanding and expressing, as well as having a poor memory. This leaves the user incapable of performing basic tasks.

Eyesight Disabilities – This Involves visual impairments or blindness.

Hearing Disabilities – The incapacity to hear, whether partially hearing aids or complete deafness.

Temporary Disabilities – A disability caused by accidents or environmental conditions.

How to Perform Accessibility Testing?

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has determined a set of guidelines called (The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)) which most organizations must follow to make their applications compatible and accessible to people with special needs. These guidelines should be followed through each phase of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) and be listed in Non-Functional Testing Practices.

Physical Disability

The criteria to overcome physical disability challenges through accessibility testing are as follows:

  1. Making sure to have an efficient keyboard option for people with speech impediments
  2. Testing voice recognition software
  3. Applications should offer an option for human help that can be requested easily by people with special needs
  4. Testing the applications while using special hardware that is manufactured for people with motor disabilities

Cognitive Disability

  1. Make sure the applications are simple and not too complicated to use
  2. Make sure to have clear menus that users can easily choose from to reach certain places and take advantage of all services
  3. Having media components such as images and graphs to make sure to explain the context of the application
  4. Make it clear that the application offers help options, including that of human contact
  5. Take the user’s journey to complete an action and make sure there were no limiting or distracting factors throughout the usage

Eye-sight Disability

  1. Make sure to have text to audio option and testing its efficiency
  2. Make sure to include magnifiers
  3. Making sure that the fonts used are compliant with WAI standards for clarity
  4. Having a filter that takes into consideration people with color blindness

Hearing Disability

  1. Having an alert system that can function without the need for sound, visual, or vibration alerts
  2. Making sure to include sign language options for essential services
  3. Audio-to-text option

Accessibility Testing Tools

To align all the disabilities with WC3 standards and validate the success of the testing process we rely on multiple tools some of which are open-source and available for all users.

Some of the most prominent tools used to achieve accessibly compliance are:

Screen Readers

Screen readers will give a detailed narration of everything on a web page. This includes texts, links, images, buttons, etc.

Here are some screen readers you can use to leverage accessibly in an application:

Color Contrast Analyzer (CCA)

Color Contrast Analyzer helps in establishing a contrast between foreground and background colors, enhancing clarity, and making things easier for people with sight disabilities and all users in general.

Screen Magnification

People with limited vision have a tough time reading text at certain sizes, which is why it is important to have an option where users can magnify them to have a clearer UI/UX. Some of the tools we could use to magnify screens are:

Speech Recognition Tools

Speech recognition tools are used to transfer audio commands by users to applications. These commands could include data entry/input, buttons, opening the applications, and other actions. Good tools to use for speech recognition are:

Axe Browser Plugin

Axe scans web pages to validate compliance with WCAG 2 (Web Content Guidelines 2) and reports any violations. Axe is a plugin for Chrome and Firefox. The Axe-Chrome extension is an open-source JavaScript library.

In Conclusion

It is without a doubt essential to even the plain view for all users regardless of disabilities. The foundation of Quality Assurance and Software Testing has always been to eliminate the possibility of bugs and defects, and up the quality level of applications overall, the latter can only be achieved by putting people with disabilities at the top of our lists to validate the success of any testing project.

Accessibility Testing results in giving equal rights in the digital world and helps us include as many users as possible.

Q-Pros is a Testing service provider with years of experience pioneering in the field. Learn more about Software Testing and get to know more about us.