Accessibility Audits and Remediation

I have coducted accessibility audits of over fifteen web applications across platforms and operating systems at UserWorks. Collaborating with developers to discuss potential methods for remediation is also part of my job.  

Screen Shot 2021-12-12 at 11.47_edited.jpg

Every project has been slightly different, but the general approach I follow for accessibility audits is described below:

Project Plan: Our team of Acessibility Specialists at UserWorks make decisions about the time and division of labor. We ensure that we have all the information we need to start the project, for example, login credentionals, IP whitelisting, use cases and dummy data. 

Become familiar with the web pages: We navigate the website on our own and become familiar with the contents of the various pages. Usually, this step is pretty straightforward, but occasionally we may have to involve subject matter expert depending on the complexity of the pages. 

Log issues and recommendations: We begin testing by using automated accessibility testing tools on the website like Lighthouse/WAVE before manual testing. We use assistive technologies like screenreaders (JAWS and VoiceOver), speech recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) and screen maginification software (ZoomText). We also perform a keyboard-only navigation test and check the color contrast of each element on the page. For every issue we find with the help of these tools, we cite the appropriate WCAG 2.1  standards and screenshots of instances of the issue to add credibility to our findings and point developers to further information if they need it. We also provide multiple recommendations for each issue logged, so that developers can compare options and chose from multiple solutions. Each issue is given a severity rating (low, medium, high) so that developers can prioritize the remediation work.

Write a report: Details of the project and summary of all the positive findings and issues is combined in a PDF document as one of the deliverables. 

Present findings to stakeholders: We give the stakeholders about a week or as much time as they need to go through the spreadsheet and the report before we present our findings. We answer any questions they might have and ensure that the developers feel ready to start remediation. 

Perform Validation testing: Some clients ask us to validate the remediated website and we gladly do it by following the same steps mentioned above.