Tag Archives: Visual impairments

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.