Guidelines and checklists for testing content to ensure accessibility.

Navigating Accessibility Testing in Educational Content Development

Whether purchased or developed, the only way of knowing that technology is accessible is to test it. Accessibility testing is not just a checklist item but a continuous process of improvement. By integrating testing throughout development, engaging in manual testing, and leveraging common tools, educators in Ontario can play a pivotal role in creating accessible educational content that caters to the diverse needs of their students.

Testing throughout Development:

For optimal accessibility testing results, testing should be integrated throughout all stages of content creation lifecycle. From initial designs through implementation. Including accessibility considerations ensures all students can engage with material regardless of ability. Collaborating with developers, designers and content creators at each step can foster a proactive approach that reduces retrofit needs later.

Manual Testing:

Automated tools play an integral part in accessibility testing, but manual evaluation can provide more thorough evaluation for users with various needs. Manual evaluation involves human evaluators manually exploring content to identify issues that automated tools might miss. Conduct manual testing by following these steps:

  • Screen Reader Testing: When possible, use screen readers like JAWS, NVDA, or VoiceOver to experience content without visual cues as this helps identify navigation, structure and text descriptions issues.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Evaluate content using only the keyboard. Verify that all interactive elements are accessible and that the tab order follows logical sequence. All internet browsers include these keyboard commands:
    • Tab goes to the next clickable element (link or form control), Shift + Tab goes to the previous one.
    • When on a link, pressing Enter will click it.
    • When on a button, pressing Enter or Space will click it.
    • When on a radio button or checkbox, pressing Up/Down or Left/Right arrow keys will cycle through all the elements in the group.
  • Colour Contrast Checks: Examine colour combinations to ensure readability for users with colour vision impairment. Online tools like WebAIM's Contrast Checker are useful in this effort.
  • Captioning and Transcripts: Verify the accuracy of captions for audio and video content, and assess the completeness and clarity of text transcripts.
  • Forms and Interactive Elements: Test forms for keyboard accessibility, proper labeling, and clear instructions. Be sure interactive elements are easily understood and operable.

Open and download the following Checklist for Manual Accessibility Testing.

Common Tools for Accessibility Testing:

There are a variety of tools available to test the accessibility of your webpage and other types of content (e.g. documents, PowerPoint slides).

  • Web Content:
    • WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool): A suite of evaluation tools that help authors make their web content more accessible. It facilitates both automated and manual testing.
    • Accessibility Insights for Web: An extension for Chrome and Microsoft Edge that helps developers find and fix accessibility issues in web apps and sites.
    • LightHouse Chrome DevTool: An open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. Run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more.
  • Documents:

For more detailed information about testing, in particular testing of web content, see: eCampusOntario’s Digital Accessibility Toolkit: Testing