Friday, October 15, 2021

What is Accessibility Testing? Why do you need it? Getting started with Accessibility Insights


By Jaymar Jackson


In today’s world of technology, convenience is key.  If it’s not voice command ready or at the least can integrate with our smart devices, then we may not even want what is being offered to us.

But, in this technological world as much as we crave convenience, there are people out there who aren’t even looking for convenience; they’re looking for basic access.

Imagine a world where you couldn’t use a mouse and the keyboard is your best friend, maybe the words on the screen are harder to see for you than they are for someone else, or maybe the video you’re watching is great, but you can’t understand a word being said. That is where Accessibility comes in, and with accessibility features for your app or web app you must incorporate Accessibility Testing. It is key for today’s fully functioning applications.


What is Accessibility Testing?

Accessibility Testing are testing procedures that ensure your Windows App, Web App or any App is accessible. To simply put it, it's to make sure that access to your app is access for ALL.

More accessibility = More traffic, and we like traffic.


What is scope?

Scope for Accessibility testing is just like scoping of any other project/application. It's all about seeing exactly where and how you want to add/implement accessibility around your app and its components. For example,

You may only want to add accessibility needs to your homepage and instruct users to call in for more information or further assistance.  You would set the testing scope for the home page and test that the accessibility features and components are working exactly how you planned them to work.


How do you do it?

Once you have established which part of the application with have accessibility features, you include those features into your test plan. Then you test those features either by either Unit Testing, UI Automation testing, or by using a testing tool that can determine if your component or features is accessible/accessible compatible.


What tools are there for it?

There are many tools for accessibility testing. You can view them here Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List ( Microsoft also has a handy dandy tool called Accessibility Insights for Windows, it's very intuitive and can detect all accessibility issues in any Windows based application.


How you measure it?

Measuring accessibility requires just a little bit of empathy, it’s really all about making sure that you’ve considered all potential caveats for those who may need a little help when accessing your application. Well, that and using tools like Azure Boards to keep track of all accessibility tasks and any potential bugs you may face when developing.


Accessibility Insights for Windows

“I've never done accessibility testing, I'm familiar with the topic from a concept standpoint, but I have no idea even how the tools validate any of this”


Hey that’s ok! Accessibility testing is easy to grasp onto take for example the Accessibility Insights for Windows. It is a very simple GUI application built by Microsoft to easily detect where opportunities for accessibility can be implemented and offers suggestions to fix accessibility issues.


When you need to access the accessibility within an app or a web app, just simply drag and place the GUI application over it and click the science beaker, it will run diagnostics and will give you a breakdown of all accessibility issues from top to bottom.


Quick walkthrough:


  1. Resources:
    • Download for Windows -> here
    • Introduction to Accessibility Insights for Windows (4 minute video) -> here
  2. Spying element properties with Accessibility Insights:



3. Running an Accessibility Test on an Element and then logging issue to ADO or GitHub:



Thanks again for reading this post, please leave any questions in the comments section below. We hope this information about Accessibility Testing is interesting and helpful!



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