Tag Archives: a11y

Testing web accessibility using the WCAG 2.0 guidelines

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and it was created by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The guidelines provide different success criteria (A, AA, AAA) and in order to meet the needs of the different disability groups and situations websites should aim to meet the highest criteria (AAA).

The best way to use WCAG 2.0 is to follow the guidelines throughout designing, developing and testing a website. The table shown below  is just one example of how the guidelines can be laid out and used for testing:

Example table for accessibility testing
Example table for accessibility testing

A copy of the blank the table shown in the screen shot above can be found at the following link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/70ppkqo6urzvi4c/WCAG2%20guidelines.docx

The table in the link above includes all the principles, success criteria and guidelines mentioned in the WCAG 2.0 website.

In WCAG 2.0 there are links provided next to each guideline with guidance on how to meet and understand the criteria. On these links you can find a list of recommended techniques to meet each criteria and if you click on a technique WCAG provide an in-depth description; examples; related techniques; external links and advice on how you can test for that specific guideline.

meeting the guidelines on right side of WCAG site
Right hand side links on WCAG 2.0 site

When carrying out a test and filling in the table it is a good idea to include any tips or external links you find that might aid the developers when they are fixing an accessibility issue. Another good idea is to include link any online tools you have used or would recommend.

When using the WCAG 2.0 guidelines in your company try to get all teams to use it, including designers, developers and those testing the site. You can use any table layout or method that you prefer, but try to include all guidelines even if it is not compulsory for you to pass all of the criteria.


Discussing accessibility at the British Conference of undergraduate research

The British conference of undergraduate research is a conference held every year that promotes student research of all disciplines. All students who apply and are approved can either present their research in the form of a poster or a 10 minute presentation.

BCUR website – http://www.bcur.org/

For my final year research project, ‘creating content-rich and accessible websites for people with cognitive disabilities’, I decided to do a 10 minute presentation.

The slides from my presentation can be seen below:

The presentation went very well and gained a lot of interest with people approaching me afterwards to ask various different questions. Although the video is not able to be put online it was filmed for internal purposes and if anyone I know would like to view it don’t hesitate to ask me.

Plymouth University and BCUR put on a great event, very well structured, sociable and fun. There were loads of opportunities to make new friends and talk to other students about their research, especially at the poster presentations. A meal was organised for everyone who attended the event, which took place at a hired out aquarium and was a fantastic night.

Overall, I have really enjoyed working on my final year project over the past year and plan to hopefully carry on it’s development after University. The British Conference of undergraduate research helped me to realise how passionate I am about my work and meet other student’s from a variety of disciplines who are equally as passionate about their work. It was an inspiring experience, it gave me the confidence to speak at future conferences and I highly recommend other students to take part in future BCUR events.

I’m happy to answer any questions about BCUR, my project or send over the presentation video. Email me: rebecca@toppsusability.co.uk