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Website accessibility testing is an essential part of making sure that all people can access your site. It helps ensure that your site meets the requirements set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The Web Isn’t Just For People with Disabilities Anymore

In recent years, more and more websites are available to people who use assistive technology. This makes it easier to navigate and read online content.

This has led to a growing number of people using these technologies to browse the Internet. However, not every website is fully accessible.

What is Web Accessibility?

Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of ensuring that people with disabilities can have full and equal access to information online.

Accessibility aims to cater to people of different abilities such as:

  • Visual Impairment
  • Physical Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Learning Impairment

What is Website Accessibility Testing?

Web Accessibility Testing is a practice to ensure that the web/mobile applications are accessible to people with disabilities.

The World Wide Consortium (W3C) has created the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines which defines the list of accessibility standards. The guidelines are classified under 4 principles:

Perceivable — Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive. This means that users will perceive the information being presented.

Operable — User interface components and navigation must be operable. This means that users must be able to operate the interface. The interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform.

Understandable — Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable. This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface. The content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding.

Robust — The content is robust enough to be interpreted reliably by assistive technologies. This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance. As technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible).

Need for web accessibility testing

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15% of the global population suffer from some form of disability. This impacts how they interact with digital or connected devices.

This is the main reason why accessibility testing has become important.

Types of Web accessibility testing

There are two types of web accessibility testing:

  • Automated accessibility testing, and  
  • Manual web accessibility testing  

What is Automated Web Accessibility testing? 

While most of the web accessibility testing is done manually, experts say that automation is a better choice.  

As the name suggests, automated web accessibility testing uses multiple online tools and software. Instead of checking each page manually, the tools scans your website. It enables you to audit multiple documents, and web pages, all simultaneously.  

Automated accessibility testing not only saves you a lot of time. It also allows you to work on the front end while the whole process is going on the back end.  

What does automated web accessibility testing check for? 

These tools will scan your website’s code to find common accessibility errors and identify common issues. These tools work in such a way that your website can be helpful for all.

Here are the key issues that automated testing tools will look for in your website; 

  • Page and structure navigation
  • Internal and external links
  • Alt text and anchor texts
  • PDF accessibility
  • Checking buttons
  • Reviewing HTML and CSS

Advantages of automated web accessibility testing  

As we have seen previously, automated web accessibility testing saves you a lot of time and labor. But is that all? No.  

Apart from this, doing web accessibility testing using automated tools and software helps you with many more things.

  • It can be done by anyone  
  • It is much cheaper than manual testing
  • It helps you pinpoint recurring accessibility issues very easily
  • You can check thousands of web pages simultaneously
  • You decide what to fix first

Best tools for automated web accessibility testing 

  • AChecker  
  • codemantra’s accessibilityInsight
  • aXe
  • Tenon
  • WAVE

What is Manual Web Accessibility Testing? 

In the simplest words, manual web accessibility testing is the same process of checking your website accessibility for a larger audience.  

It follows the same process that automated web accessibility does, but just manually.  

Here, an expert or a team of experts check your website manually and create a report on the observed data. Usually, their reports include detailed information about WCAG conformance issues and recommended fixes.  

Advantages of manual web accessibility testing

  • It allows you to do everything that you can do in the automated method
  • It helps you to increase your web content screen reader compatibility
  • It helps you to optimize your website keyboard navigation

Accessibility testing best practices

  • Using alternate text for images: Use meaningful text to convey the context of an image. Complex images should have detailed descriptions (as a caption or descriptive summaries). This enables screen-readers to read out the description of the image.
  • Screen-reader Compatibility: The website must be accessible with keyboard and mouse, so that it is accessible to screen readers.
  • Videos must have captions and descriptions: Use captions and audio descriptions for videos. This ensures people with hearing problems can enjoy watching them.
  • Label forms: Forms must have the form label to enable users to fill the form with ease.
  • Meaningful descriptions for hyperlinks: Use meaningful descriptions for links and button. ‘Click here” and “More” do not convey the action needed to navigate to the next page.
  • Align tables: Tables are tagged with column and row headers.
  • Document accessibility: Documents on a website such as PDF or Word must be tagged and made accessible.
  • Color sensitivity: Avoid too low or too high contrast colors to enable people with disabilities to navigate a page. Avoid conveying meaning using color alone.

Who we are?

codemantra is a leading Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) Solutions Provider. Its AI-driven platform automates digital document accessibility compliance; captures, classifies, and extracts data; and transforms documents to the desired output format.

How codemantra helps?

codemantra’s accessibilityInsight remediates digital documents such as PDFs, PPT, Word, Excel, e Pub. It makes documents accessible and compliant as per ADA, Section 508, Section 504, WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards.

We provide everything from self-help tools, audits, remediation, and implementation support to help you stay on top of accessibility challenges with a very cost-effective solution.

Contact us at 1 (800) 769-9715. Email: engage@codemantra.com for more information on how to make your documents accessible.

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