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WCAG 2.1 Standards and Accessibility Testing

The European Commission estimates that including all who have a “long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairment,” one in six people in the EU have a disability - or some 80 million. That is 80 million people who use our webpages, apps, programs and services in a way that is hard for a developer or a tester to imagine, making it maybe one of the most difficult concepts for a tester. 
Looking at accessibility as important quality standard in testing will be in many ways beneficial. Firstly, when designing our products we usually try to make its usability as comfortable as possible, so it is only right, we do the same curtesy to everybody. Population around us is ageing, so we can only expect the number of people using screen readers, and other assisting programs to use IT services to grow. 
Secondly, it is beneficial to the company, as there are 80 million new potential customers in Europe alone to be gained, if your product is accessible. Also guaranteeing it, is good for companies public image.

But if doing the right thing and potential benefits are not good enough motivator, then regulators will probably make it mandatory anyway. In USA for example there is already Section 508 amendment added to American Rehabilitation Act, giving standards to web pages. Also in 2017 there were 714 law suits agents different webpages / web service providers due to lack of accessibility, mainly claiming those pages/services to be in breach of Americans with Disabilities Act. While in Europe currently there is web standards only set to Europa web pages, then many governments, including Estonia are discussing setting accessibility standards as a law. 

So this matter is important today but will definitely become more important over time, making it important for testers to be ready to both understand how to test accessibility  and how to assure it is factor being considered already in development phase. 

That what my talk will do, I will present my research on the matter as well as practical example from my own work experience how to test accessibility and what are the standards that are sufficient to claim something to be fully accessible.

Key takeaways:

  • What is WCAG 2.1 standards and how to understand them.  
  • Why is assuring accessibility important. 
  • How to create a test strategy for accessibility. 
  • How to keep your product accessible over time.