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Accessibility Testing Tools for Developers

taught by: Gerard Cohen

Description:

Accessibility testing tools are getting better every day, as accessibility is gaining in awareness. From free online testing tools and plugins to enterprise class solutions, there is no reason to not have one, or a few, in your arsenal of testing tools for your web development projects. There are testing tools for developers and testing tools for quality assurance. Some are automated, some are manual, and some are combination of both. There are some tools that might even integrate with existing automated testing tools and suites.

Identifying accessibility issues as early as possible in the web software development lifecycle can save an organization or project a substantial amount of money, time, and headaches over trying to augment a web site or application after initial development. Using a testing tool for accessibility will definitely help with this process.

We will begin by discussing the different types of tools that are available for web developers tasked with meeting accessibility guidelines for their project. We will talk about using basic tools, starting the underrated but always important HTML validation and discussing how this is one of the first important checks that should be used, and how it impacts screen reader users.

Another basic tool we will discuss is using some very simple defensive CSS to help ensure that proper roles and elements are used in HTML markup. This is low tech, but powerful way to ensure your markup stays compliant while you are developing.

Next we will discuss the various browser plugins that will perform a manual scan, or audit, of a particular web page. Using some live examples, we will go over the various options and results that are produced by each of the tools and use this information to remediate any accessibility issues.

For the more advanced cases, we will talk about automated testing tools that allow for robust scripting of accessibility tests. How can these tools be integrated into existing scripting and automation.

Practical Skills:

  • Tools and techniques for testing for web accessibility, from basic to advanced automation with end-to-end testing
  • Exposure to accessibility best practices, regardless of what tool is chosen

Prerequisites:

  • Basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript