Accessibility testing is a type of systems testing designed to determine whether individuals with disabilities will be able to use the system in question, which could be software, hardware, or some other type of system. Disabilities encompass a wide range of physical problems, including learning disabilities as well as difficulties with sight, hearing, and movement.
Why accessibility Testing?
Typical accessibility problems can be classified into the following four groups, each of them with different access difficulties and issues:
- Visual impairments Such as blindness, low or restricted vision, or color blindness. User with visual impairments uses assistive technology software that reads content aloud. Users with weak vision can also make text larger with browser settings or magnificent settings of the operating systems.
- Motor skills Such as the inability to use a keyboard or mouse, or to make fine movements.
- Hearing impairments Such as reduced or total loss of hearing.
- Cognitive abilities Such as reading difficulties, dyslexia, or memory loss.
Perform Accessibility Testing
For accessibility testing to succeed, the test team should plan a separate cycle for accessibility testing. Management should make sure that the test team has information on what to test and all the tools that they need to test accessibility are available to them.
Typical test cases for accessibility might look similar to the following examples –
- Make sure that all functions are available via keyboard only (do not use mouse)
- Make sure that information is visible when the display setting is changed to High Contrast modes.
- Make sure that screen reading tools can read all the text available and every picture/Image has corresponding alternate text associated with it.
- Make sure that product-defined keyboard actions do not affect accessibility keyboard shortcuts.
- And many more.
Web Accessibility Testing Tools
This category of the tool allows developers or tester to know exactly what information is being provided to assistive technology. For example, tools like Inspect Object can be used to get information on what all information is given to the assistive technology. Assistive Technologies (AT)
This category of tools is what a person with a disability will use. To make sure that the product is accessibility compliant, tools like screen readers, screen magnifiers, etc. are used. Testing with assistive technology has to be performed manually to understand how the AT will interact with the product and documentation. More information on the tools is present in the tool section of this website for you to explore.