Testing for Accessibility
You may have heard about our Accessible Platform Initiative here at Digital Services Georgia and how proud we are to have our sites accessible to those with disabilities. This effort took a lot of research, planning, and countless hours of code development. To validate this effort, our team also performed extensive and thorough testing.
Now you may be thinking, “How do you test the accessibility of a website for individuals with vision or hearing impairment?” First, we assessed the color scheme for each of the platform’s themes. Next, we wanted to make sure that the uses of these colors were accessible to those with impairments like color blindness. WebAim, an organization dedicated to making the web’s content accessible, provides a color contrast checker to assist in testing the contrast of text or icons against its background. Utilizing this tool allowed us to gain a better understanding of color contrast standards to ensure that visitors to our platform with disabilities have a great experience.
Another aspect of accessibility we explored was the use of screen readers and keyboards. This involved a comprehensive code review to change the way these tools interacted with the platform’s sites. Using a service called BrowserStack, we were able to test these code changes across different browsers and devices. This allowed us to expand this effort to a broader base of our users.
Testing always seems like a daunting task initially, but there are instances where confirming massive efforts like this that make testing very exciting. Seeing all of our team’s hard work validated through careful testing was sort of the icing on the cake. Valid testing is what ultimately confirmed that our drive to make the platform more accessible to more users was a success.