Feather Touch on Accessibility Testing

Just got inspired by the speech from Jenny Lay-Flurrie, the Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft Corporation during the Microsoft Decoded Conference 2018 that happened in London a few weeks back.

She was stressing about the importance of Accessibility in everyone’s life, in fact in her personal life too. That triggered me to research on Accessibility Testing concepts as my primary job nature being software testing.

I came up with a couple of findings which I thought of sharing with you folks (of course might not be new to many).

Types of disabilities:

1. Physical Disability – People supported by motors, can’t access keyboards or mouse to communicate etc.,

2. Vision Disability – People who have issues with visualising like colour blindness, poor vision etc., 

3. Cognitive Disability – People who have poor memory etc.,

4. Hearing Disability – Auditory issues like hearing impairments or deafness

I am sure there are few more types of disabilities but I believe common ones are said above.

Now, how can we contribute to testing for these disabilities? There is a saying in our software testing world, “Test like an end user while you are testing the application”. In this case, not all testers can think from the disability perspective. Hence it is always a better option to test the application with the guidance of a person who is having a disability.

Out of 4 types, I filtered and identified that hearing and vision disabilities are more common among the crowd.

So, I thought of performing this research from these 2 types.

In order to test an application from vision and hearing disability perspective, make sure the below checklist is taken into consideration –

Vision Disability

1. Make sure the application provides Keyboard shortcuts for all the operations used by mouse operations

2. Text to Audio converters & notifiers in place

3. Magnifiers in place

4. Fonts used are satisfying the rules of W3C Accessibility Checker

5. Colour Blindness filter is provided

6. Page navigation should be tested with proper response time for easy navigation without waiting for too long

Hearing Disability

1. Make sure the application alerts the users with vibration even when that feature is turned off (mobile apps)

2. Providing manuals in sign language

3. Flash alerts using the flash in mobile phones

4. Both audio and video contents are properly synced as sometimes multimedia synchronisations issues occur

5. Audio to Text converters in place

Of course, I am pretty sure there are many Accessibility Testers out there in LinkedIn who has more experience than me with this topic.  

Remember!!! Everyone will become disabled in some way, sometime, in our lives naturally. 

So, let us try to contribute our thoughts in the comments below so that everyone can get the benefit…

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