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Integrating A11Y Testing in Your QA Workflow

taught by: Nicolas Steenhout

Session Summary:

Quality assurance testing is mission critical to deliver products that work. Too often, testing for accessibility isn’t included in the QA workflow. I’ll briefly talk about the benefits and business relevance of integrating accessibility testing into your QA workflow. I’ll discuss how to combine both manual and automated accessibility testing in your quality assurance testing. Some of the things I’ll explain include: What can be tested automatically and what must be tested manually; how to translate accessibility violations into executable steps for remediation; and how to prevent biased testing by non-disabled testers.


We know quality assurance testing is important. We understand that developers testing as they go isn’t enough to guarantee a solid, bug free product. We often don’t want to rely on our customers to be our beta testers, particularly if they are paying for our product. We also understand the importance of testing for accessibility. Yet, accessibility testing isn’t routinely included in the quality assurance testing workflow. The fact that over half of the possible accessibility barriers can’t be tested automatically complicates merging accessibility testing in general quality assurance testing.

There are some concrete steps you can take to do test for accessibility as you test for general quality assurance - and we’ll explore these. We will discuss concrete aspects such as what can, or can’t be tested automatically. But we’ll also discuss less tangible topics, such as motivating stakeholders and teams to make space for accessibility testing. Some of the other aspects we’ll cover include pre-TQA prep with stakeholders, how to optimise results when stakeholders aren’t developers and use platforms like WordPress, understanding the value gap in only using automated testing for accessibility, the disparity between ensuring functionality on older browsers vs disability access (and where the two aspects meet), and testing for a broad range of abilities when representative users aren’t available for acceptance testing.

While this session is an introduction to this topic, you will leave with concrete take-home ideas that you can use to champion the idea of implementing accessibility testing in the QA workflow, and actions you can take to do so.

Practical Skills:

Reviewing why integrating a11y testing in the QA workflow is a good idea, and how to do it efficiently.

Presentation Materials: