Understanding Accessibility Testing

uTest UniversityAs we live more of our lives online – everything from booking travel and shopping, to bill payment, watching TV shows or movies, and reading the news – a greater emphasis is put on the ability to access web sites and mobile apps, especially for people with disabilities. Of the 241.7 million adults aged 15 and older, 6.2% experience some level of difficulty with seeing, hearing, or having their speech understood, according to the 2010 U.S.Census Bureau Americans with Disabilities report.

Take into account the growing segment of adults who suffer from age-related sight or hearing loss and you begin to see a significant population who can be inadvertently shut out from using sites or apps that are not accessible. Companies who don’t pay attention to accessibility standards risk losing revenue from lost reservations or communications, and may even face litigation.

Web accessibility was brought to the forefront by a landmark class action lawsuit filed by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) against Target Corporation over target.com. Target settled with the NFB for $6 million in 2008 and “agreed to update the site to accommodate sight-impaired online consumers, and to let the NFB regularly test those improvements once they are completed early next year,” according to Computerworld.

Despite this landmark settlement from a few years ago, accessibility testing still isn’t on the forefront of clients’ minds. The business case and value proposition is clear from the testing perspective and there are ways to easily work accessibility testing into your user experience (UX) or functional work.

In this uTest University webinar, accessibility testing expert Helen Burge discusses tips and tools for understanding accessibility testing, including the potential impact on the client’s reputation and the difference between accessibility, usability, and UX.

Some other topics covered in Helen’s “Tips and Tools for Understanding Accessibility Testing” webinar:

  • Web design often focuses on font choices for better readability, but color choices can affect how people consume the content.
  • Color ratios outlined by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 are an important checkpoint.
  • Testing tools range from screen readers and color analyzers, to Braille keyboards, HTML validators, and web developer toolbars.

Learn more about accessibility testing and other testing topics at uTest University, the learning hub for the testing community.

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