UPDATE: The result of the puzzle mentioned in this blog post is out. Here are the winners –

  • Mohan Raj
  • Rajesh Maadireddy
  • Sonal Agarwal

Your prizes (some awesome testing books) are on the way.

We know that you could not stop yourself from reading this article looking at the title which is the hard truth. That’s why we chose the topic title to be whatever it is.

We have been testing software(s) for years now and we see an adamant nature in most of the testers or testing companies where they neglect or do not perform accessibility testing. That’s unfortunate! However, Mohit Verma and I (Santhosh Tuppad) try to let you know the importance of it, amidst other quality criteria; so that you could add value to your testing activity in your organization or your freelancing project. Let us progress and let us not be stuck at one thing that is Functional quality criteria.

Some thing that we want to let you know to avoid confusion, you might feel some things that we are speaking here might relate to usability which is, perfectly fine with us. We believe that (At least Mohit and I) usability and accessibility are related very closely to each other and that’s the reason. However, we wanted the title to not include usability (That’s our choice).

Without much ado, let us start with the topic which is on Accessibility (Inclusive of usability). Here we go, welcome to the awesome journey of accessibility learning.

WTF is accessibility? What do we mean when we say that? Why do we need it? Who cares about this? How to test this? And blah blah. We are going to help you with all this in this article.

Let us start with a metaphor, “Imagine watching a movie without your televisions speakers on or volume being mute”. How easy or difficult is it for you to understand? Well, we are just guessing that, most of the people might find it very difficult to understand.

So, here is what Wikipedia has to say about “Accessibility”,

“Accessibility is the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be viewed as the “ability to access” and benefit from some system or entity. The concept often focuses on people with disabilities or special needs (such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities) and their right of access, enabling the use of assistive technology. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility)”

Okay, here are some more examples with questions in them to give you better understanding:

  • Your customers include colour blind people and they want to access the system.
  • Your customers are partially blind and the fonts for them need to be a bit bigger and resolution and contrast need to be changed.
  • A blind person wanting to know what kind of images are on the website or in the software via a screen-reader.
  • Your customers are very obsessed with usage of keyboard shortcuts and minimal use of mouse. Do you have accessibility made for different input devices based on the context?
  • And many more that we can think of but, we do not want to give everything to you. Why, because we want you to think and add more to your list once you learn things from this article.


Getting sued?

Well, in India we know that; people are really not serious about accessibility and they do not get scared by being sued because of several reasons which we aren’t interested in highlighting. However, in US, UK and some other countries, laws are very strict and you could be sued up-to million or billion US dollars or UK pounds based on the violation. Now, how does that make you feel? Scary!

Most of the testers from India or any other country where there are no strict laws for accessibility might want to become serious about these because you might be biased in not having accessibility built into the application for any reason.

Several reasons could be,

  1. I am already good with functional. Why should I learn this?
  2. I am getting good enough salary at the end of month. When things are going smooth in my life with respect to my job and salary, why should I break my head?
  3. Our client doesn’t demand for accessibility and why should we explain about its importance?
  4. We are not good at it and we do not want to learn.
  5. Which user would do that?
  6. And many others that we could think of.

Now, accessibility laws are like Tsunami, or Hurricane Sandy which could hit you unexpectedly. It could be today, or tomorrow, or next year or after several years where you could be sued for million $$$.

 We aren’t joking

Just in case, if you think we are joking or kidding around, you might want to take a look at the real stories in the past where companies have been sued for not having accessibility built in-to their application.

Target Settles Accessibility Lawsuit for $6 Million
Accessibility Legal Cases Archive
Redbox Sued Over Disability Access At Kiosks

Tools that you can explore to use for accessibility
eSSENTIAL Accessibility Browser
JAWS – Screen Reader
ZoomText Magnifier
Lynx Browser
Cynthiasays.com
WAVE
Accessibility Color Wheel

If you need more tool names, then solve the word puzzle below and get the list. It is going to be cool.

Blah Blah Word Puzzle (So, even we have covered “blah blah” stuff! (*Grins*))

Here is exciting Word Puzzle for testers. Here are the instructions,

  1. Find at least 14 tool names out of 16 from the word puzzle
  2. Only when you find all the tools you become eligible for the prize
  3. Prize includes a book, t-shirt (Customized for testers)
  4. You have one month time for this

Once you feel that you have found all, please send an e-mail to [email protected] (Only first 3 participants who answer will be chosen as winners).

Here you go,

thumb_accessibility_testingcircus2

We hope that this article will bring some change in the way you test by adding “Accessibility” quality attribute along with your “Functional” testing. Happy Accessibility!

Related source(s)
http://www.ministryoftesting.com/2012/06/accessibility-mindmap/
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/collections/jonahlyn/webaccessibility/
http://www.karlgroves.com/2012/04/27/efficiency-in-accessibility-testing-or-why-usability-testing-should-be-last/
http://simplyaccessible.com/article/blindfolded/
http://www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-accessibility/testing-web-accessibility.shtml
https://i1.wp.com/www.testingcircus.com/wp-content/uploads/accessibility_testingcircus1.jpg?fit=425%2C282&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.testingcircus.com/wp-content/uploads/accessibility_testingcircus1.jpg?resize=150%2C141&ssl=1Santhosh TuppadArticlesAccessibilityUPDATE: The result of the puzzle mentioned in this blog post is out. Here are the winners - Mohan Raj Rajesh Maadireddy Sonal Agarwal Your prizes (some awesome testing books) are on the way. We know that you could not stop yourself from reading this article looking at the title which is the hard...
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Santhosh Tuppad is the Cofounder & Software Tester of Moolya Software Testing Private Limited (www.moolya.com). He also won the uTest Top Tester of the Year 2010 apart from winning several testing competitions from uTest and Zappers. Santhosh specializes in exploratory testing approach and his core interests are security, usability and accessibility amidst other quality criteria. Santhosh loves writing and he has a blog http://tuppad.com/blog. He has also authored several articles and crash courses in the past. He attends conferences and confers with testers he meets. Santhosh is known for his skills in testing and you should get in touch with him if you are passionate about testing.