Before hopping into Accessibility Testing right away, let’s first get to know about WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines)
As the name suggests, the idea is to provide easy access of the web content.
Not a big deal, right? I mean we can any day use the web console to locate that object and access the web content.
So, the difference here lies in the fact that this one aims to provide a better experience for PwD (People with Disabilities) and of course a nice user experience for everyone. It is related to visual, auditory, cognitive, speech, language and neurological disabilities.
WCAG, an ISO standard, defines the standards for accessibility of web content to all individuals, organizations and government organizations worldwide.
Difference between WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 1.0:
|WCAG 1.0||WCAG 2.0|
|The basis for determining conformance are the checkpoints.||The basis for determining conformance is success criteria|
|Checkpoints are Priority 1,2 or 3||Success criteria is at level A, AA, AAA.|
WCAG 2.0 is a stable, technical standard which consists of 12 guidelines organized under 4 principles:
For every guideline, we have a testable success criteria arranged in three levels:
- Single A (A): lowest level
- Double-A (AA): medium level
- Triple-A (AAA): highest level
Webpage conformance levels:
WCAG 2.0 specifies what type of content is eligible to be certified ok.
After testing the success criteria, the conformance can be tested in three levels:
- Level Single-A (A): All the prerequisites of Single A success criteria should be fulfilled
- Level Double-A (AA): All the prerequisites of Single A and Double A should be satisfied.
- Level Triple-A (AAA): All the three levels should be satisfied.
Need for Web accessibility:
Section 508 is the standard defined by the US government to make sure that all US government websites and all the content related with electronic and information technology is accessed by people with disabilities.
Accessibility Testing Tools and Techniques:
- HTML Validator:
- Open the W3C HTML Validator Enter the URL of application in Address and click the Check button.
- Enter the URL of your website and click on More options and select the checkbox for Show Outline and click on Check.
- You can also search for text input, source and specific components from your web page’s source code according to your need.
- NVDA (Non Visual Desktop Access):
It is a free screen reader which can be downloaded from the link.
It can read the text on your screen in a computerized voice. The cursor movement by the mouse or keyboard keys by you defines the content that has to be read to you.
It also provides access to many social networking sites , online shopping, news and banking websites.
- JAWS (Job Access with Speech):
A screen reader which focuses on navigation, web form, and other dynamic content.
At a stretch, the JAWS can run for 40 minutes straight without any limitations after which a system reboot is required.
- Achecker (Accessibility Checker): It is a web accessibility tool. It is more or less the same as HTML nu viewer.
The additional capability that Achecker provides is that it takes care of international guidelines :
- WCAG 1.0 and 2.0 (International)
- BITV 1.0 (Germany)
- Section 508 (US)
- Stanca Act (Italy)
It can be accessed from here.
- Accessibility Valet: A web accessibility tool which doesn’t need installation but can be run online from the URL: “http://valet.webthing.com/access/url.html”.
- WAVE: Another tool that can be accessed from the URL : http://wave.webaim.org/
To run Wave reports in Firefox, a toolbar is also available which can be downloaded from here.
- Color Contrast Analyser: It checks for the foreground and background combinations on the web page and color visibility. It can be downloaded from
- EvalAccess: A product from Spain is used to evaluate SPAs (Single Page Applications) as well as an entire website.It takes the help of following methods:
- Evaluate single URL: URL of every page needs to be entered and then evalued
- Evaluate Website: Entire Website can be evaluated
- Evaluate HTML source: HTML source code can be evaluated
- AccessColor: It is used to check color combinations, brightness, contrast, and other parameters.
It is mainly focused on people with visual impairments.
It provides two options, either to list only the errors and warnings or the full reports.
- Hera 2.1 beta version: A multilingual web-based system, which performs a preliminary set of test instructions on a page and reports the detectable errors and checkpoints.
It also tells you about the areas that need further manual intervention.
It can be accessed from : http://www.sidar.org/hera/
Apart from these tools, we can also use the Firefox Accessibility extension which is an add on available for its FF users.
Go ahead and implement this testing and these tools in your project.
I am sure you would receive a hefty monetary benefit and your project would receive an asset