Why Accessibility Testing is Important
Accessibility testing has great importance and relevance for all portals or websites. Its usage has often been questioned, which is not right in my opinion. Any portal or website should have a long-term vision for its audience. Adding capabilities or corrections for accessibility much later increases the cost of new work. Hence, it should be a default consideration when building a portal or website.
While the design and development have been using a lot of accessibility standards as part of their core work, testing has been far behind in accepting and embracing Accessibility Testing as a form of testing for portals or websites unless requested. The emergence of standard tools have made it easier to include this type of testing as part of your testing cycles. One such tool that I had performed a POC and later used for a major Retail customer is WAVE – Web Accessibility and Evaluation Tool.
The WAVE tool is offered as a plugin extension for Chrome and Firefox. It also further simplifies by providing the option to evaluate the accessibility readiness of your site using WCAG 2.0A, WCAG 2.0AA, or Section 508 standards. The tool provides quick and easy reports that can be utilized to compare with the standards needed by your customer to follow.
The reports can be used to report issues not following Accessibility standards. Alternatively, after maturing or looking at the reports, the development team can install the plugin extension to ensure that the Accessibility standards are taken care of right at the development stage. Accessibility related issues found later in the development cycle increase the risk of involving additional UI/UX, design, and development work. Hence, the earlier use of such a simple tool will prove beneficial to the Solution being offered.
For details and accessing the plugin extension, visit https://wave.webaim.org/extension/