This article is written as part of our Accessible Web Content series.
What is accessibility testing?
For an introduction to accessibility, we recommend reading up on the basics and any other topics related to your web project. Very simply, by the W3C, “Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them.”
What do we test for?
Each web project will be different and require unique solutions. There are three accessibility levels: Level A, Level AA and Level AAA. Generally, we conform to AA guidelines, We find AA is the most realistic and beneficial of levels, providing the most accessibility and allowing for creative website layouts and features. Some projects will be better suited for A, while other projects are better suited AAA,depending on budget and website type. A decision will be made with you at the beginning of our work together.
To make sure we hit all the marks, we start with the AA quick reference list defined by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. This list will be updated when standards need to be changed, and we will adapt our protocol to change with the standards.
How do we do it?
At Manoverboard, we start thinking about accessibility from the beginning. Content needs to be structured thoughtfully and with appropriate audiences kept in mind. Typefaces need to have the appropriate contrast in design so that users can easily read copy. Graphics and colours will be considered during design.
Sites will be coded semantically to ensure that screen readers (which is software that reads website content to people with vision loss) can easily read and navigate a site.
After the main development phases have been completed, we audit the site to pinpoint accessibility issues. We use a mix of automated tools, and our own expertise to manually assess each site. If any issues arise, we apply custom solutions or other tested methods to ensure proper accessibility.