We all are living in a Digital Era where smartphones and web applications control everything we perform in day-to-day activities in some form or the other. The time we spend daily interacting with our phones or laptops is large these days.
We need to learn the fact that not all people would be able to handle today’s mobile or web applications in the likewise way. There are people with different disabilities which makes the usage of some applications not available to them.
How to perform Accessibility Testing?
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published a set of guidelines called ‘The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)’ which companies must strictly conform to make the application available to people with disabilities. The different stages of SDLC should follow these set of guidelines as part of their Non-Functional Testing process.
For each and every guideline, there are testable success standards, which are at three levels:
- A (lowest)
- AA (mid-range)
- AAA (highest)
These levels may differ from different companies and in different situations. Conformance at higher levels symbolizes conformance at lower levels. For example, by conforming to AA, a Web page satisfies both the A and AA conformance levels. Level A introduces a minimum level of accessibility and does not reach broad accessibility in many situations. For this reason, UC suggests AA conformance for all Web-based data.
Many organizations effectively do accessibility testing by hiring real-time testers in their own expertise to validate whether their product satisfies the correct user experience.
There might be a condition where a person can have a broken arm or endure surgery on one eye. So we need to make sure whether the application we create can be adjusted by the user during those conditions without giving stress to the users.
Tools to perform Accessibility Testing
With all the guidelines established according to W3C rules, one or more tools can be used to verify the required success criteria of the application. Accessibility testing can be reached either manually or automated. There are some open-source and commercial tools in the market to examine the application for accessibility compliance.
The following are some of the tools that can be used.
People with inadequate vision may not be able to read the content with the normal font size. Such people require to zoom in on the content to read it. Magnifier App in Windows and Zoom option in macOS are great tools.
Color Contrast Analyser
Color Contrast Analyser (CCA) helps to maintain sufficient contrast between foreground and background colors by giving appropriate test results.
Screen readers are the tools used for describing the content of a page. A screen reader can describe everything for the user like the texts on the website, checkboxes, images, links, radio buttons, etc.
Speech Recognition Tools
Speech recognition tools are used to interact with the application by dictating text or commands to it. It can be used to deliver text, links, control buttons, open an application, and other controls. Windows Speech Recognition, Apple Dictation, and Dragon are some common Speech Recognition tools.
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