- Extensive experience testing against 508 and W3C standards
While the concept of making web sites and applications accessible to users with physical disabilities is not new, it has gained new prominence as a design concern. In 1998, President Clinton signed an amendment to the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which is now commonly referred to as “Section 508“. Section 508 standards require that electronic and information technology that is developed by or purchased by all Federal Agencies be accessible to people with disabilities as of June 2001. This means that all individuals, whether disabled or not, need to be able to use the technology, be it a website, an application or a piece of hardware. Most states have used these standards as a baseline for creating their own accessibility requirements as well. Here at Beta Breakers, we are fully staffed with trained engineers who understand these standards thoroughly and are adept at identifying violations of the Section 508 accessibility standards.
Everyday, the technologies used to validate accessibility are expanding and changing, as are the laws governing these technologies. We pride ourselves in staying up-to-date on current requirements and passing that knowledge along to our clients. Even if you do not need to achieve full compliance, basic accessibility practices can dramatically improve your software or site’s usability thereby ‘opening the door’ to many people that would otherwise be locked out.
What is the Purpose of Accessibility Testing
The purpose of accessibility testing is to check and ensure that the functionality and content of a website adhere to guidelines that provide for accessibility to people with disabilities.
What is the Methodology for Accessibility Testing
We start by confirming which of the standards you as a company are trying to achieve. We then personalize our testing efforts to fit your needs. Our QA engineers will begin by testing your website/application manually against an agreed-upon checklist of standards to be achieved. We employ the appropriate built-in Windows or Macintosh OS accessibility settings, as well as the most commonly supported screen readers and alternative I/O devices/software. We look for problems that could be experienced by people with a range of disabilities from color blindness to poor vision, lack of hearing, and ease of use for those with physical impairments. If requested, we can also run a validator on the XML code to confirm it meets or exceeds the target standards.