Category: testing

The Accessibility Interpretation Problem

Some aspects of digital accessibility can be straight-forward. But many are complex and can be subjective, especially when interpreting WCAG 2.0 guidelines. The following tweet is humorous because there’s a strong ring of truth to it—if you ask 10 accessibility specialists you will get 20 different answers.

Inconsistency in accessibility reporting can be a big problem in an organization and its employees. In the white paper A11Y Wars: The Accessibility Interpretation Problem, Glenda Sims (@goodwitch) and Wilco Fiers (@wilcofiers) do a deep dive into this issue. Topics in the paper include:

  • Summary of Findings
  • Causes of Interpretation Problems
  • Causes of WCAG 2.0 Interpretation Differences
  • Accessibility Peace Model
  • Standardization
  • Recommendations

The paper proposes an “Accessibility Peace Model” which helps clearly define the perspective your organization is using for accessibility testing. This will reduce inconsistencies in accessibility testing and reduce the natural tension between the goals of users, designers, developers, testers, trainers, project managers, and executive employees. In turn, this will save much time, hassle, and ultimately lower costs.

The Accessibility Peace Model recognizes that there are different, equally valid, ways to use WCAG 2.0. To get consistent results, organisations should define with what perspective they want their tests to be done. This is by no means the only measure that needs to be taken to ensure consistency, but it does make discussions on interpretations significantly more effective.

If your organization is serious about accessibility, consider reading A11Y Wars: The Accessibility Interpretation Problem.

This white paper was presented by Glenda and Wilco at CSUN 2018 in San Diego, CA, and are also presenting on the topic this week at AccessU 2018 in Austin, TX.

CSUN17 Review

Another successful CSUN Assistive Technology Conference has come and gone. Below is a curated list of slide decks, reviews, photos, and more. Also check out my CSUN17 preview.

Slides etc. from presentations

Feel free to cite more in the comments.

Workshops

Other reviews, etc.

More awesome stuff

WCAG 2.1 First public working draft. Also see Quick Guide to WCAG 2.1 First Public Working Draft by David MacDonald

By IBM Va11yS, or Verified Accessibility Samples, is a repository of live working code samples that designers and developers can easily access to test with different assistive technologies and tools.

OATMEAL – An accessibility testing methodology for the web, by eBay. Stands for Open Accessibility Testing Methods for Experts And Layfolk—nice!

Mind Your Lang by Adrian Roselli from role=drinks event.

Photos

Terry Thompson speaking on audio description at CSUN17
Terry Thompson speaking on audio description at CSUN17
Denis Boudreau fills the Deque Suite at CSUN17
Denis Boudreau fills the Deque Suite at CSUN17
Karaoke at CSUN17, Makoto and Matt lead C-S-U-N
Karaoke at CSUN17, Makoto and Matt lead C-S-U-N (to the tune of YMCA)

More from CSUN17 Flickr album by Dennis Lembree

Link Roundup – June 2015

Accessibility Jobs, Sept 2014

Learning How to Test with Screen Readers

Although accessibility checklists are important, testing for web accessibility requires more than that. Some testing requires tasks which can only be done by a human including testing with a screen reader. It’s best for a regular screen reader user to do the testing, but it’s also good for a developer or designer to do at least the basics (there was a big discussion on this last fall in Should Sighted Developers Use Screenreaders To Test Accessibility?).

Here are some good articles to help learn how to use a screen reader to test for web accessibility:

More from comments: