A breakdown of Deque’s web accessibility testing process…

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At Deque, one of the services we offer is a “full-package” evaluation of individual web pages for accessibility. This kind of evaluation can be broken down into testing with accessibility testing tools like FireEyes and WorldSpace, testing with a screen reader like JAWS, keyboard-only testing, and, finally, writing up the evaluation.

I recently polled my team members to see how much time they spend on each of these parts of the process. The percentage of time spent on keyboard-only testing is about 10% of the time estimated for the full-package testing of the web page.

While the estimate for keyboard-only was consistent across all of the Deque Accessibility Experts I polled, the estimate for time spent conducting screen reader testing differs. Since web accessibility testing with a screen reader and other accessibility testing tools is a high level skill requiring detective work and analysis, we do not have a cookie cutter recipe for how our experts use the tools.  Instead, we ask our experts to conduct the testing within the estimated time frame, applying the appropriate standard (WCAG 2.0 AA in this case), and we have them use their professional judgement to use screen readers and other testing tools in an effective and efficient way.

Team Member Results

Results from Expert #1

  • 30% testing with accessibility testing tools (not a screenreader, and not keyboard alone)
  • 35% testing with a screen reader
  • 10% testing for keyboard alone
  • 25% finalizing write up

Results from Expert #2

  • 45% testing with accessibility testing tools
  • 25% testing with a screen reader
  • 10% testing for keyboard alone
  • 20% finalizing write up

Results from Expert #3

  • 40% testing with accessibility testing tools
  • 30% testing with a screen reader
  • 10% testing for keyboard alone
  • 20% finalizing write up

So on average, bearing in mind that an average page on the web takes 3 hours to full evaluate, that’s 38% spent using accessibility testing tools, 30% testing with a screen reader, 10% keyboard-only testing, and 22% on the write up.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of automated testing vs. manual testing, be sure to read our whitepaper on a 360˚ Approach to Web Accessibility Testing.

 

Download our free whitepaper on a 360 Degree Approach to Web Accessibility Testing

 

 

About 

Glenda Sims is the Team A11Y Lead at Deque, where she shares her expertise and passion for the open web with government organizations, educational institutions, and companies ranging in size from small business enterprise. Glenda is an adviser and co-founder of AIR-University (Accessibility Internet Rally) and AccessU. She serves as an accessibility consultant, judge, and trainer for Knowbility, an organization whose mission is to support the independence of people with disabilities by promoting the availability of barrier free IT. In 2010 Glenda co-authored the book InterACT with Web Standards: A holistic approach to Web Design.

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