In our context, the goal of accessibility testing is to identify barriers for users with disabilities when they use websites or apps. This includes permanent as well as temporary disabilities and impairments of senses, e.g. for elderly people.
Customers who run accessibility tests at test IO receive reports about lacking accessibility in their products, so that they can redesign their products in certain aspects to meet international standards and practices.
Check out the references section at the bottom of the article to learn more about web accessibility.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) contain checkpoints of three priority levels:
- Level A covers items on web pages that must be made accessible in order for individuals with disabilities to access the content at all.
- Level AA includes items on web pages that should be made accessible to allow a wider group of users to access the content.
- Level AAA describes items on web pages that can be made accessible to allow the widest amount of individuals with disabilities to use the site.
The description of your accessibility test or a message from the TL in the test chat will reveal what levels are requested by the customer: A, A+AA, or A+AA+AAA.
Only checkpoints from requested levels should be tested by you; Checkpoints from levels above the requested level(s) are out of scope.
While we provide links to official WCAG checkpoints in the references section below, we encourage you to use our own lists throughout testing – They are more understandable and fit your needs better:
- Checkpoints for level A
- Checkpoints for levels A+AA
- Checkpoints for levels A+AA+AAA – AAA checkpoints are currently not relevant
If you are just getting started with accessibility testing, you might feel that even our own checkpoint list is too complex in the beginning. In this case, we recommend reviewing Easy Checks provided by W3C, which are based on the official WCAG checkpoints. Note that these easy checks do not cover all checkpoints.
If you are new to accessibility testing, make sure to install and configure corresponding accessibility tools and to get familiar with them before starting to test.
Use these tools to apply our recommended testing workflow:
- Navigate through the whole page with keyboard only.
- Navigate through the whole page using a screen reader.
- Navigate through the whole page using screen reader shortcut keys for heading, landmark, lists, and so on.
- Check the color contrast via contrast checker tools.
- Scan the website's HTML code for problems using WAVE or the HTML validator.