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Accessibility Testing – Improving Quality of Life for the Visually Impaired

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More than 285 million people worldwide are estimated to be visually impaired. However, it is important that we are able to bring them into the mainstream so that they can read documents and improve their quality of life. Governments and businesses are realizing the importance of this and have started initiatives to make documents, websites etc. accessible. There is a push to check the content to ensure that they are meeting agreed international standards like 508 compliance standards, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and PDF Matterhorn standards. Accessibility testing could become a big business opportunity, as we are talking about millions of documents across public domains which are not accessible today.

The first step in the testing process is deciding which standard you would like to meet – 508 compliance standard, WCAG 2.0 or both.

Next step is to choose tools for testing content, testing should include automated testing tools, manual testing and screen readers.

Manual testing is important because in case automated tools miss some standard checks manual testing provides another checkpoint.

Final check in accessibility testing is done using screen readers like JAWS, NVDA, Narrator and others.

One sure way to do accessibility testing is to deploy a team of differently enabled people to actually test the content from the end-user perspective.

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