Accessibility Testing: All you need to know

Types and causes of disabilities

There are many types of disabilities that people may experience at one time or another in their lives. These are some of the most common disabilities:

  1. Physical Disability
  2. Cognitive Disability
  3. Eyesight/Vision Disability
  4. Hearing impairment
  5. Temporary Disability

Accessibility testing: How do you perform it?

We now have a basic understanding of the most common disabilities. It’s time to learn how accessibility testing can be used. Before we can do that, let’s learn a few industry standards.

  • A (lowest)
  • AA (mid-range).
  • AAA (highest)

Physical Disability

  1. Test the consistency of voice recognition software to determine if it is available
  2. Check if the keyboard is easy to use for people with speech impairments
  3. Motorly disabled people should be able to seek human assistance in times of emergency
  4. For people with limited muscular control, test the application using a specially designed mouse
  5. As the user spends more time entering values into the form, make sure that the timeouts are set appropriately.

Cognitive Disability

  1. Make sure the controls are easy to use.
  2. Easy to understand menus that allow the user to select the items they require
  3. Maximize the use of graphs and images instead of text, which makes understanding context difficult
  4. You can test whether the user is able to complete a task without distractions such as alerts, advertisements, and so forth.
  5. Check if there are any options to get human assistance

Vision Disabilities

  1. Check if the application offers keyboard shortcuts to all operations performed by a mouse
  2. Convert text to audio
  3. For those with less vision abilities, magnifiers are available
  4. Fonts used must comply with the W3C Accessibility Checker rules
  5. Filters for color blindness

Hearing Disability

  1. You can test whether the app vibrates even when the feature is disabled (mobile apps).
  2. Sign language manuals are provided to aid in understanding the application.
  3. Mobile phones flash alerts, such as led lights flashing when incoming calls are made
  4. Convert audio to text in place

Temporary Disability

This type of disability can occur at any time in one’s lifetime. This could include a foreigner using an ATM in a country where the language is difficult to understand. We need to determine if the ATM system allows for a common language such as English to control.

Accessibility Testing

Using all the W3C guidelines, you can use one or more tools to validate the success criteria for the application. You can either perform accessibility testing manually or automatically. To ensure accessibility compliance, there are many commercial and open-source tools available.

Screen Magnification

People with reduced vision might not be able to read the text in the standard font size. These people will need to zoom in to see the content.

Color Contrast Analyser

Color Contrast Analyser, (CCA), helps maintain sufficient contrast between background and foreground colors by providing the appropriate test results.

Applitools Contrast Advisor

Applitools Contrast Advisor will use AI-powered computer vision (Visual AI), to identify potential contrast violations. A contrast accessibility failure is identified for an element whose measured contrast ratio is lower than the minimum WCAG defines. It can be used on web, mobile, and native mobile apps.

  • Chrome and Internet Explorer
  • Firefox NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access)
  • Safari: Voice Over
  • iPhone: Voice Over
  • Android: Talkback

Speech Recognition Software

Speech recognition tools allow you to communicate with the application using speech recognition software by simply dictating text to it or giving commands. It can be used for dictating text, controlling buttons, links, opening an application, and many other functions. Common Speech Recognition tools include Apple Dictation, Windows Speech Recognition and Dragon.

Axe browser Plugin

Axe is a browser plug-in for Chrome and Firefox web browsers. It scans the page for Section 508 (Standards delineated for Federal Agencies) accessibility. Deque Systems developed the axe open-source JavaScript extension.

WorldSpace Attest From Deque

Developers can use the Worldspace Attest toolkit while they code. It allows developers to use the shift-left approach in order to quickly identify accessibility issues (as per Section 508, WCAG, etc.) more efficiently and earlier. It integrates with the existing test automation framework, which will allow it to check for compliance issues as the functional tests are running. It supports all major browsers, including IE, Chrome and Safari. It also supports both iOS and Android devices.

Everyone is right!

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, access to information and communication, including mobile and web applications, is a fundamental human right. Applications must adhere to Accessibility Standards.



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Serena Gray

Serena Gray


I work as a Senior Testing Specialist at TestingXperts. I am a testing professional accustomed to working in a complex, project-based environment.