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Accessibility Testing Automation: A Helpful Guide for Newbies & Professionals

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Providing information accessible to a wider audience through digital means is known as online accessibility. It’s not just about individuals with physical ailments, but also about any person who could struggle to understand the purpose of the information. For example, your web vieweers could be someone who doesn’t speak your language, or someone with a visual impairment. For such a case during the software development you must provide access to a translation system and make sure that each label are readable by screen reader.

Any content that meets those requirements is accessible. When we design websites and apps, we must consider how they will be used by different users and make sure that they are easy to use for everyone. The best way to do this is by referring to quality assurance and testing services. This post will help you understand one of such services and its importance in an organization. We ‘ll speak about accessibility testing automation.

What is Accessibility Testing

The process of accessibility testing involves looking for problems that might make it challenging for some users to open and use a webpage or application. This could include anything from issues with non-labelled headings to poor colour contrast. No matter what device or ability a user has, accessibility testing is conducted to make sure people can readily browse your webpage and its information.

Accessibility testing may help you identify and resolve issues that could otherwise make it difficult for some people to use your website. In general, there are three stages to accessibility testing:

– Finding: When you initially start out, it’s best to assess your site’s usability from the viewpoint of a novice user. This implies you should test your website utilizing many devices (e.g. a mobile device, an older computer, etc.). You may use this to discover problems that may be hard to discover on your own device. 

– Verification: Once you’ve identified issues with your website, you must make absolutely sure they are truly the case and have the effects you expect on visitors. While some concerns are just required to be verified, others will call for some form of investigation and/or testing.

– Correction: Once you’ve validated the problems, you must devise a plan for dealing with them and settle everything down. Then developers fix these issues. 

Why Is Accessibility Testing Crucial

accessibility testing in progress

One billion individuals, or 15% of the world’s citizenry, possess a physical ailment that limits their capacity to apply digital or associated devices, according to the WHO. In order to boost ease of access, application developers are utilizing a variety of technologies, as well as assistive technologies, screen amplification, voice commands, and adapted keyboards. This emphasizes the requirement to evaluate how accessible application functions are.

On all continents, policy reforms have been established by various nations to facilitate individuals with disabilities to use technology. According to the whitepaper produced by the Accessibility Guidelines Checking Institute, WCAG 2.0 aims to make every webpage simple, inclusive, and functional.

Organizations must respect WCAG 2.0 while developing webpages since it is a mandatory standard for all webpages on the internet.

Making webpages functional for those with disabilities can generate traffic by putting the principles of ease of accessibility into practice. Additionally, it makes webpages easier to comprehend. The usage of online Accessibility Testing Automation strategies promotes engagement rates, guarantees that customers will favor a business’s webpage, and also helps build brands.

For example, the Netflix streaming platform was sued by the NAD (National Association of the Deaf) in 2012 for neglecting to offer subtitles. The judge agreed with the NAD’s claim that Netflix was required by the ADA (American with Disablity Act) to offer subtitles for streaming online content.

Excluding companies that offer services online from the ADA would go against the law’s intent. The intention of Congress is that people with disabilities fully enjoy the products, services, rights, and benefits offered to all other members of the general public without discrimination.

In addition to continuing to caption footage created after 2014, Netflix was obliged to caption its entire streaming video catalog. Along with that, it gave the NAD $755,000 in legal expenses and compensation.

When to Run Accessibility Tests

a man is holding clocks

The usability of all users must be implemented while developing a website or an app. Quality control starts from the earliest steps of software development. Accessibility testing includes activities that are also responsible for software quality, so it also begins pretty early. 

  • Analyze the wireframes and mockups first, then your prototype, and last, your completed website. 
  • After launching your site, you must perform an accessibility check, along with other types of tests
  • From the report, If there’s any problems, you should examine and resolve them. 
  • You may also regularly carry out ease of access assessments to avoid issues building up in the long run.

Rules and Recommendations for Evaluating Accessibility

Accessibility tests should be a component of your testing strategy in order to assure that your service fits with the following principles.

A set of accessibility standards labeled as WCAG 2.0 Class AA has been released by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium).  The most current modification is WCAG 3.0. The guidelines or rules must be followed since they represent the minimum needed for digital content.

All departments and organizations within the federal government need to comply with the websites’ regulations that adhere to Section 508 requirements. This implies that in order for consumers to browse the content effortlessly, the website must achieve a specific degree of functionality.

WCAG 2.0 specifications and regulations. The W3C has made available a comprehensive ease of access assessment manual that contains the standards and requirements you should adhere to while evaluating your applications.

What Is Automated Accessibility Testing

To check if an online website is accessible to individuals with impairments, software testing techniques referred to as “automated accessibility testing” are utilized. 

The vast majority of companies select automatic technologies to scan such webpages for problems because the bulk of website pages are too big and confusing to browse through manually. Many people additionally ponder if they would find every accessible issue on their website if they actually explored it. Moreover, this type of testing is also performed during retesting and regression testing – so, its automation is often cost-effective. 

Can The Testing Of Accessibility Be Automated

gears

Yes. You may do Accessibility Testing Automation for your application or website using a variety of tools, plug-ins, and applications.

 The following are a few examples of automatable tasks:

– Automatically checking for damaged links. 

– Automatically auditing missing alt tags. 

– Automatically scanning whether the site has sufficient color disparity. 

– Automatically determining if website may be viewed by screen readers. 

Accessibility Testing Automation ensures a constant compliance to all legal requirements and functional accessibility principles.

Automated Accessibility Test Checks for 7 Items

A phase in the technology ease of access assessment process is determining if an app meets the necessities of people with physical disabilities. Assuring that your program is fully functional with assistive technology and other people with auditory or vision impairments is therefore necessary. Additionally, ease of access assessment makes sure that persons with various physical abilities can utilize and retrieve the content in a practical manner. Below are some lists you should look at when conducting accessibility screening:

  • Check #1: Auditory User Interface Checking
    • An audible user interface is among the most important things to search for throughout automated accessibility checks. This implies that all visual information displayed on screen in your program should have an audio equivalent.

Make sure the audio is acceptable and intelligible before deciding whether to employ an audible user interface. Thus, the sounds is neither distorted, too lengthy, too loud, or too soft. Additionally, it must be written in a language that the majority of your viewers will comprehend. You should also listen for any sound effects that can annoy some users. For instance, is the volume of your obtrusive sound can be noticed by individuals nearby?

  • Check #2: Visibility Checks
    • Visibility issues in computerized accessibility testing are related to text and palette issues. Before looking for text, make sure all the relevant parts are available to users. As an example, explore buttons, menus, and other elements. Verify whether all material is configured to a scale that can be viewed properly and with the right tone for better readability. 

In addition to using high dynamic range colors for the typography and contrasts in those colors, you must ensure that your program does not use any colorblindness filters. Make sure that any images you include in your app can be viewed and will not obstruct the customer’s experience. Avoid overstuffing your app with images that the user won’t find interesting.

  • Check #3: Keyboard-Only Usage Checks
    • Any computerized specification of a protocol must enable keyboard input. Meaning, every part of the content can be accessed with a keyboard. This holds true for all objects, including checkboxes and tabs.

Test the keyboard shortcuts as well. Make sure viewers can reach your app’s save button, for instance, if it utilizes one, by showing them a keyboard shortcut. You have to test your program to know that it doesn’t rely on visual elements when evaluating it for keyboard-only use.

You need to know that customers can complete a registration form in your app, for instance, by utilizing merely a keyboard shortcut. People who use voice command apps and users with visual disabilities rely on explanations of page elements. In your app’s settings, you may switch out graphic explanations for text ones.

  • Check #4: Checks for Vision Problems
    • Prior to beginning assessments for visual acuity deficiencies, you should examine your program to determine if any effects exist that affect photographs difficult to comprehend for someone with color vision deficiency. You may do so by turning off filtration in your app’s properties. By doing this, you can be sure that color blindness won’t be a problem for your program.
  • Check #5: Voice Recognition Software. 
    • People with physical disabilities rely on voice recognition software when they want to search for something on the internet or a webpage. Enabling voice command search on your search bar will also make your content accessible for all people in general, no matter what conditions they have. 
  • Check #6: Headings and labels. 
    • When creating headings and labels for your website, make sure you create descriptive headings and labels. This can be a great advantage for people with disabilities. For example, when they are required to fill in the form on the website, users will be assisted in effectively completing forms by form input buttons with labels that properly define the text that must be entered.
  • Check #7: Alternative Text for Media
    • To make users from all conditions comprehend you information as a whole, you need to provide them with an alternative text that describe a media such as video or image.

Best Tools For Automated Accessibility Testing

a table with tools on it

There are 3 types of tools you may utilize to do Accessibility Testing Automation, which we will uncover below. 

Tools That Require Human Assistance

You may do an ease of access evaluation using your own keyboard. This activity is necessary to check whether your platform can function properly only using a keypad.

A screen reader is an additional option. As you travel throughout the display, everything is accessible. You will pay attention to subtleties, like signs, that everyone else without visual difficulties could miss.

NVDA and JAWS are the two most commonly manual ease of access programs for Pcs. Almost anyone can use both since they are both incredibly customizable, despite of somebody’s physical limitations. The main key difference between these two well-known assistive technologies would be that NVDA was built for all those who only infrequently need support, whilst JAWS was created for people who need regular aid from a digital assistant.

Android Google Voice Assistance and iPhone VoiceOver can also help you test the accessibility of a webpage or app. In fact, those tools are the tools the visual impaired rely on the most when using mobile apps.

Semi-Automated Accessibility Tools.

The axe-core library, which is now supported by Deque Systems, provides the core of a variety of tools, along with browser add-on The Axe.

The core purposes of The Axe-Core Library include tracking the path of a webpage load also monitoring when code is executed. It also includes a variety of methods for sending details to the server and receiving data back, and accessing cookies and other components to identify each user.

New additions to The Axe-Core Library arrive almost daily and are actively maintained. Being developed in TypeScript makes the library easier to understand. Anyone may contribute because the library is open source. You may immediately identify any challenges and limitations across all browsers by turning on the extension.

Last but not least, Google Lighthouse, which is built into the browser, also does accessibility assessment. The access functionality is powered by axe-core, and it’s great since you’ll also be able to measure other metrics like performance, best practices, and SEO.

Automated Accessibility Testing Tools.

This chapter’s last section examines automated accessibility solutions that you may use in your code base and continuous integration process. Axe-Core is among the best-known automated accessibility checking software programs. It is open source and offers several options for code base inspection. 

It enables you to evaluate your code base and give it ratings. You may rate and assess your program code with this tool. It has several guidelines that you may modify to meet your needs and the needs of your team. It’s a good idea to check your program code for access barriers first.

Axe-Core may also be connected with the testing tools of your choice, such as Jest for unit testing, WebdriverIO, TestCafe, Cypress, Selenium, with Java, C#, and Python.

The pioneer in the concept of multi visual testing, Applitools, has now included automated accessibility support via the Contrast Advisor.

By employing a cloud-based automatic Accessibility Testing Automation system, Applitools can help you identify issues with the tone restriction of the ui components on your platforms and online applications. The solution is built on the totally free Applitools Eyes Accessibility Testing software, which lets you assess your webpages using a multitude of devices and assistive listening devices.

Accessibility Testing Automation with SumatoSoft

People work on the computers

SumatoSoft will ensure that you build an inclusive product by conducting accessibility testing. We test by WCAG and ADA standards, making sure you do not miss out on any potential client.

  • 10 years on the market of software development. 
  • We work honestly and openly for fair rates
  • No communication barrier, since all specialists speak English well.
  • 150+ custom software solutions.
  • 27 countries we worked with.

Get in touch with us if you have any specific accessibility requirements for your software! 

Conclusion

When you integrate accessibility testing into your testing strategy, you are ensuring that all users can access your site and its content. This will increase your conversion rates and engagement rates. When you fail to test for accessibility issues, you are unnecessarily limiting your audience and damaging your reputation. When you integrate accessibility testing into your testing strategy, you are ensuring that all users can access your site and its content. This will increase your conversion rates and engagement rates.

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