Website Accessibility Types of Testing
There are three main type of accessibility testing available to you.
Automated Accessibility Testing
There are a variety of automated tools, both free and commercial, which can highlight some of the accessibility issues with your website. Unfortunately, there are many accessibility issues that cannot be picked up by any such automated process, which is why further work is always required.
Manual Testing by Professionals Who Are Not Disabled
A Professional Website Auditor will be able to discover additional issues through careful manual checking. If they have a proven track record in Accessibility Testing, they will discover some of the issues that cannot be found by automated software.
Manual Testing by Disabled People
The most experienced professional will not be able to discover every accessibility issue with your website, if they are not disabled themselves. This is why additional testing by disabled people is such a vital component of the accessibility audit process. Their lived experience brings insights that you cannot achieve any other way.
What kind of accessibility issues are there?
Accessible issues fall into different categories, here are some of the most common ones.
What is Colour Contrast?
If the foreground colour is very similar to the background colour, it is difficult for people with a visual disability to read. This is known as a Colour Contrast error. It can be tested with a colour contrast checker, however this will only be able to check elements that have been coded, such as the text colour and background colour. It will not be able to test the colour used in any kind of graphic or image. 83.6% of the top 1 million websites fail this test.
What is Keyboard Navigation?
If the website cannot be used without a mouse, it cannot be used by many disabled people, including those who are blind or have a hand disability. An easy way to check basic keyboard navigation is by applying The Tab Test. The vast majority of websites fail this test.
What is an Alt Tag?
An image cannot be seen by a blind person. This is especially important if there is a graphic that has words on it. However, that image can have what is known as an Alt Tag with it. This tells a screen reader what the image is. Over 33% of the top 1milion websites fail this test.
What is a Form Label?
Forms are common on most website and they are often used to allow visitors to make requests via the website directly, rather than using email, telephone or social media. Many websites do not have their contact details on them and only permit requests via these forms. However, if a form has not been labelled correctly, it will be very difficult, if not impossible for a disabled person to use. 35.8% of the top million websites fail this test.
Accessibility audit cost
The website accessibility audit cost should correlate to how much work is being carried out for you. It is important to have a clear understanding at the outset, of exactly what work done. A good way of checking this is to ask about a previous audit they have carried out.
It is obviously going to be much cheaper to pay for an automated test than it is to engage a specialist website accessibility specialist and their testing team but you also have to consider how much value the audit will bring you.
Read the pages below to understand more about what is involved with a website accessibility audit.
Although we have worked in website accessibility for disabled people since 2006, we are always learning! We bring in members from our team of disabled people to test the website themselves. We record each live session and include it as part of our final audit.
This part is everyone’s favourite, our clients love it and so do we! No matter how thorough you think you have been, you cannot beat the real live feedback from a disabled tester as they use the website for themselves!
Nearly every other website accessibility audit company will undertake an automated assessment response and may even include some "simulation" of what a disabled person may do. That is where they will stop. If you do not have any disabled people in your team, this... read more »