How do you know if your website is accessible? Is your website shutting out people with spending power?
Well, we can help you find out.
We carry out accessibility testing and evaluation and will give you feedback on accessibility issues found within your site. If required, we can also suggest modifications to your site and best practice techniques to use to ensure that the widest possible audience can access your site. We can work with your developers to help them fix the issues too.
If you want to know more about how an accessibility test can help improve your website, then please read on.
Alternatively give us a call on 01483 856613 or 07905 590026 or use our contact form.
Accessibility testing FAQs
What is an accessibility test?
During an accessibility test, we look for things on your website that make life difficult for those with impairments or disabilities. This would include those who are blind or can’t see well, those who can’t use a mouse for some reason, or those who are deaf, or hard of hearing. We also look for areas in the site where movement can be distracting for some people, or where functionality is confusing or not easy to use.
How is an accessibility test done?
To start with we sit down with you and work out which pages or parts of the website we’re going to include in the test (see Planning an accessibility test below). Then, we run each of those areas through a series of tests we’ve refined over the year, to check that the website can be used by as many people as possible.
During the accessibility test we’ll use a number of tools to help evaluate your site. We’ll also use some examples assistive software – screen readers, voice recognition software etc. These are the tools that many people with disabilities and impairments use to help them browse the internet.
Who does the accessibility test?
Currently all of our accessibility testing is carried out by Graham Armfield who has more than ten years’ experience in accessibility – both building accessible sites and testing sites for accessibility.
What about testing by people with disabilities?
Some clients do require an element of testing to be done by disabled users. If this end-user testing is required, we work with an associate disability organisation who help us organise these tests. We then combine the results from the end-user tests into the report we give to you.
What level do you test to?
That’s something we’d ask you to specify. Most accessibility tests that we carry out are testing for compliance against WCAG2.0 Level AA (see footnote 1 below).
Many people believe that meeting this level provides a good pragmatic level of accessibility – one that enables most people with disabilities and impairments to successfully use your website – whether it is to find the information that you are offering, or to buy the products and services you are selling.
However, we have occasionally been asked to test to WCAG2.0 level A.
If required, we can test to other accessibility standards or requirements – such as Section 508 for example.
How do you plan an accessibility test?
The first stage in planning an accessibility test is to work out with you which pages or parts of your website we’re going to test. On many sites it is not necessary to test every single page of the site, but it is sensible to test some examples of each type of page on a website. This might typically be: home page, content pages and/or blog posts, ‘Contact us’ pages and other pages with forms and interactivity – such as search results, mapping etc.
On larger sites we often ask the client to think about common user journeys that their site visitors will be following. Examples might include: sign up for a newsletter, open an account, find films showing nearby, etc. This helps to identify the key areas to test.
But every website is different so the list of pages to check will vary.
Once we have the accessibility test plan in place we can get started.
What do you get at the end of the accessibility test?
Once we’ve completed the accessibility test on your website we write a report to let you know what we found.
We offer a number of different levels of reporting – from just a simple pass/fail notification, through to a detailed breakdown of the accessibility issues found, mapped against the various sections within the WCAG2.0 guidelines.
Many clients also like us to include suggested fixes for accessibility issues where appropriate.
We’ll tailor the report to the level of detail you require.
How much does it cost?
The cost of an accessibility test is determined by a number of elements including:
- The number of pages in your website included in the test.
- The accessibility level that you’d like us to test against.
- The level of detail you require in our test report
In most cases we will agree the overall cost of the accessibility test with you during or after the planning stage.
What happens after that?
Having an accessibility test carried out on your website is the first step in ensuring that your website can be used by as many people as possible, and does not fall foul of the law.
We aim to make our test reports as informative as possible so that they can be passed to your website developers to make any necessary changes to the site.
However, some of our clients ask us to present the findings from our accessibility tests to management or to the developers. We’re happy to do this, and if required we can work directly with your developers over a period of time to refine the accessibility solutions proposed. We can also run training sessions or workshops to give them the necessary knowledge to build fully accessible solutions in the future.
WCAG2.0 is the abbreviation given to Version 2 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium. The WCAG2.0 guidelines have three compliance levels – ‘A’, ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’.