Perth, Western Australia - 6th to 10th January 2014

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Testing for Accessibility

Project: Accessibility Developer Tools (and related projects)

More and more web developers are becoming aware of the importance of designing for accessibility—ensuring that their products are able to be used by as many users as possible, not just those who use the product in the same way as the developers do. However, even with the best designs, accessibility issues and regressions can still be a problem.

Accessibility testing can be an awkward and even expensive process. Most accessibility tests are conducted manually and can’t keep up with the pace of the web. And unfortunately, small accessibility regressions can have a drastic effect on usability—rendering it impossible for a user to navigate or interact with your web app.

This session will introduce some open-source tools and techniques that have been used over a variety of projects to identify accessibility regressions. It will focus on tools that can be used in the browser itself and on automated testing strategies that enable developers to quickly iterate and improve their code. Though automated tests will never catch every regression, a common-sense approach that focuses on the most common accessibility problems can help to eliminate the pain of manual testing and make it easier to prevent, catch, and fix accessibility problems.

Alice Boxhall

Alice Boxhall is a software engineer at Google, where she works on improving accessibility support in Google Chrome.