9.6. Testing for Accessibility

Now that we have covered how to make an accessible web application, you know what to test for. As mentioned previously in this chapter, the tools available for automated accessibility testing will not provide a complete test.

When it comes time to test for accessibility, the first thing you need to do is decide what your intentions are. When I ask this question of developers, I normally get one of two responses. The first response has a few variations, but can be summarized as "Someone is forcing me to adhere to the standards." Normally this is because the site is a government site, or the eidetic was passed down by management. Developers who are testing for this reason treat the standards such as WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 as checklists, trying to complete each element and move to the next.

The other response I hear is "I would like to know if my web application is accessible because I would like to make sure everyone can access the web applications I develop without issues." Developers who respond in this way, look at accessibility in a whole different light. They do not treat the standards as checklists they tick off. They learn why each standard is needed and incorporate accessibility techniques into their development practice. If the applications they develop need to adhere to an accessibility standard such as Section 508, they already know how to implement the accessibility techniques and should be more likely to fully comply with these standards. ...

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