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Types of accessibility Testing

In today’s digital era, smartphones and laptops dominate almost all the facets of accessing information and knowledge. Almost everything is online right from what we learn to what we purchase. In such scenarios, there are people with disabilities who would be also interested to gain knowledge and access the specific information for their needs. Organizations must strive to apply accessibility standards to make the application available for people with disabilities. In this article, you will get to know what are the different types to test accessibility. 

What is Accessibility testing?

It is a type of testing which ensures that people with disabilities can access the application. Specific applications are tested so that disabled people are able to use the application. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has laid down Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for web accessibility. It is also considered to be a subset of usability testing. Some examples of such applications are:

  • Speech recognition software: The words that are spoken by the user are converted into text.
  • Screen reader software: The text that is being displayed on the screen can be read.

Types of Accessibility testing:

1. Manual web accessibility testing: One of the easiest ways to test accessibility through manual mode is keyboard accessibility. The ‘tab’ key of the keyboard plays a pivotal role. The tab key is linked with the links of a website, so every time we hit the tab key, it takes us to all the links of a website. There are certain screen reading technologies such as JAWS, NVDA, Talkback, VoiceOver etc. These screen reading technologies read what exactly is displayed on the particular appliance and thus helps people with vision impairments to understand what is displayed online so that they can further use it appropriately.

2. Automated web accessibility testing: For this type of testing method, there are many options available such as browser plug-ins (web accessibility toolbox, axe for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox). Upon that, automated API’s (pa11y) and some other specific tools such as the color contrast analyser, JAWS inspect and accessibility inspector can be used for performing automated testing.

Benefits of web accessibility testing:

1. Legal complications can be avoided: There are many countries that have made it mandatory for websites to meet the accessibility guidelines before the website goes live. So, to avoid any legal hassles, implementing accessibility guidelines will prove to be a wise move.

2. Boosts the growth of a software application: If a software application is built keeping in view the accessibility guidelines, then it becomes obvious that people with disabilities will also use the software application. This will in turn make a software reach a wider audience.

3. Fine-tune search results: By following the accessibility standards, a website will have rich text, which will, in turn, make search engines follow your website more easily, as search engines’ core focus is to target content through specific keywords.

4. Enhanced user experience: If the digital content on your website or application is developed as per the said guidelines then any user can use your website or application as intended. By properly applying the accessibility design guidelines in an application, the application’s appearance, navigation, text clarity and other relevant features will be user-friendly and appealing.         

Conclusion: It is a human right to use a web or mobile application, and in such scenario, people with disabilities should not be ignored. Businesses can take advantage of an accessibility testing service provider, who are considered to be specialists when it comes to providing accessibility testing services. Leverage your testing requirements from a company that knows the proven and time-tested tactics to carry out software testing activities rapidly in a well-defined and result-oriented manner.

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