Web Sites Accessibility Evaluation Research

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by Glenda Sims, Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque

I'm excited to be part of a group of experts contributing to a research project by Nirmita Narasimhan on web site accessibility evaluation methods. Contributors to this research project include:

To get the conversation started, Nirmita invited us all to participate on the "Web Sites Accessibility Evaluation Methodologies" panel at www2011 in Hyderabad, India on March 30, 2011. It was fascinating to hear how my colleagues test for accessibility as well as what tools and methodologies they use. I was pleased to discover how our experiences were quite similar as we each faced the daunting challenge of testing the accessibility of huge enterprise or government web sites. We all agreed on the need for balance between manual testing, hands-on usability testing with people who have disabilities and testing using automated tools.

I really resonated with a number of Srinivasu Chakravarthula's philosophies including his wise advice to hold manual testing until after pages pass automated testing. Shawn Lawton Henry's book "Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design" was mentioned multiple times by the panel as an excellent resource.

I shared my experience of creating a culture of accessibility at the University of Texas at Austin using practical testing methods over the past decade. Watch the video of my portion of the presentation and learn how you can equip yourself with free and powerful testing tools. Learn my secrets on how to turn it up a notch when you need to monitor accessibility across a vast enterprise.

Practical Accessibility Testing - a presentation by Glenda Sims of Deque at www2011 in Hyderabad, India, on March 30, 2011. Includes demo of the free accessibility testing tool, FireEyes, a plugin for Firebug in Firefox.

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.