When you see differently-abled people on the street, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Probably pity, for you think they are not equipped to work independently. But it is high time to change our perception and look beyond just the cover. With the transforming digital domain, the step towards making the world accessible has already been taken where the impaired are working independently to make products accessible for all. As accessibility testers, they have proved that their will is stronger than their impairment. Working normally alongside other engineers, they exhibit their mettle everyday by executing mundane tasks with ease.
With mandates like Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 already in place, the foundation is strong enough to make the digital domain non-discriminatory. But can we guarantee whether the process followed is coherent and foolproof? Moreover, whether its implementation is equally strong? To ensure accessibility of applications, testers need to make sure that their to-do list is unerring. For this, they need to-
- Do a thorough check on the guidelines- Analyzing and understanding the norms under accessibility are equally important as testing itself. Testers need to ensure that they imbibe these standards in their process but also keep themselves abreast with the updated ones. For instance, WCAG 2.1 will be releasing soon in 2018 which will be WCAG 2.0 compatible and will focus on the accessibility requirements for users with low vision, learning and cognitive disabilities and mobile accessibility. Amendments as such require continuous upgradation in the testing process to ensure testers don’t leave anything behind.
- Follow a foolproof approach- For years, what we’ve been seeing is that accessibility testing is done through the basic procedure of applying manual and automated methodologies for testing. However, there still is a lack of a wholesome process to ensure foolproof testing. This comes with an amalgamation of both, automated and manual testing strategies along with a unique approach. This approach calls out for testing done in a pair, where a sighted and a non-sighted engineer test together to identify all the bugs that must be fixed to make the product accessible for all. The approach of paired testing has proven to be an effective way in the domain of accessibility testing.
- Leverage real users for testing- Although, testing today has become convenient via automation, the actual impact can only be anticipated thoroughly when a differently-abled tester tests an application. With this approach, one gets to know the possible bottlenecks that a differently-abled person would undergo when using the application thus, resolving it beforehand.
With these benchmarks set, independent testing organizations are working rigorously towards chalking these to-do’s in their lists to arrive at an ideal stratagem and move beyond just what the cover appears to be.