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Paul Boag wears reading glasses and gloves

In Boagworld podcast episode 130, I discovered that in order to help test web accessibility, Paul Boag wears glasses (that he doesn’t need) and gloves and attempts to navigate through a site. Excellent idea!

In order to better understand [the elderly’s] experience I have bought a pair to ski gloves and some reading glasses (I don’t need reading glasses). Every now and again, I surf the site I am designing wearing both the glasses and gloves. The glasses make the screen hard to read while the gloves hamper my use of the mouse and the keyboard. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to select something from a drop down menu wearing ski gloves!


50 Useful Tools for Evaluating Your Website

Some good web accessibility tools are listed in the post Is Your Site Hot or Not? 50 Useful Tools for Evaluating Your Website. Look under the heading “Accessibility & Usability”. Other good tools are listed for SEO, stats, performance, and code validation.

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Outsourcing accessibility testing is essential

In his article Outsourcing accessibility testing is essential, web accessibility and usability professional Peter Abrahams discusses why testing a web site for accessibility by an external third party is a good idea.

Although the article is an obvious plug for a particular testing company, the point is quite valid. Testing for web accessibility is a critical step, and a company who specializes in that usually has the best resources to do the most complete job, including testing by people with a variety of disabilities.

Two related points made in the article are:

  • Specify that accessibility is essential in your requirements definition.
  • Once a site has gone into production it is advisable to re-test it on a regular basis to ensure the continued quality and accessibility.
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Selecting an Accessible CMS

Here’s a good article from Juicy Studio on choosing a CMS with accessibility and other considerations in mind. The highest ranked were Quick and Easy, Plone, and Drupal (with “some customisation”).

The criteria used in the testing were:

  • functional, accessible and usable to authors with minimum experience
  • an accessible Web content management solution on a limited budget
  • the WYSIWYG editor should be accessible to screen reader users (JAWS and Window Eyes), and easy to use

The CMS’s evaluated were:

  • Jadu
  • Mambo
  • Joomla
  • Quick and Easy
  • Expression Engine
  • Plone
  • Drupal
  • Textpattern
  • Xoops
  • Typo3
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Accessibility audit vs. accessibility testing

In the article Accessibility audit vs. accessibility testing, Webcredible discusses the definition and differences between the accessibility audit, accessibility testing, and automated tools, and when it’s appropriate to use each evaluation type.