10 Quick Accessibility Tests In 10 Minutes

Do you want to run quick accessibility tests for sudden business presentation? Don’t know where to start. All that you need is the application, website or product you want to check on a browser with internet connectivity. Read this article on 10 quick accessibility tests in 10 minutes.

Pre-requisites for quick accessibility tests

  • A Windows or Mac computer.
  • Any browser.

Note:
These quick accessibility tests are just the methods to identify few accessibility problems on a web page with minimum time, infrastructure and accessibility skill. This is no way an exhaustive list.

Begin quick Accessibility tests now

Quick Test 1: Identifying the page title

When the page completes loading read the page title. Try to understand if the page title conveys the intent of the page.

The title of Amazon contact page is “Amazon.in – Contact”. Seeing the title the user can identify the intent of the page. If the title just says Amazon.in user will not know if it is a Contact page, product page, home page or any other page. Similarly if the page title just says Contact Us it will be difficult to identify is Amazon Contact or any other website especially when the user reaches the page through search engines.
With just a glance one can say if the page title is descriptive enough or not. If the title is not descriptive or informative the test is considered as a failure.
WCAG 2.1 success criterion : 2.4.2 Page titled.

Quick Test 2: Audio Controls

Check if any audio is automatically played when the page completes loading. Playing audio for more than 3 seconds immediately after the page loads is a WCAG violation. Testing this check-point does not need additional time. Just an observation. Most of the pages do not play audio automatically, if any such audio is played for more than 3 seconds ensure that a mechanism is available to stop or pause the music without disturbing the overall system volume. The quick test fails if any music is played for more than 3 seconds when the page first loads without a simple mechanism to stop it.
WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 1.4.2 Audio controls.

Quick Test 3: Text re-size

Text should be resized up to 200% without the loss of content or functionality. Press control + + 6 times to double the existing text size. At this point check the page to identify if the content is overlapped or any content is missed. If the content is overlapping on other content, any text is not available for the user or if any functionality is broken the quick test is considered as failed.
WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 text resize.

Quick Test 4: Labels for form elements

Glance through the page and locate form controls if any. If the page contains form controls such as text input boxes, radio buttons, check boxes, dropdowns, verify a label is provided adjacent to them informing the user what has to be filled or which option(s) has to be selected. If no visual label is provided, the quick test is considered as failed.
WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions.
Note: Titles, placeholders, aria-label, aria-labelledby etc cannot be the only means of labeling the form elements.

Quick Test 5: Label associations with the form elements

If the visual labels are available for the form elements (i.e. if quick test 4 is passed) verify whether they are programmatically related with their corresponding form fields. Click on the visual label and the action associated with the element should be invoked. Eg, by clicking the label of a checkbox should check or uncheck it. The click of labels performs the action only when the form control and the label are associated properly. If the label and form association is not provided, this quick test is considered as a failure.
WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 info and relationships.

Quick Test 6: Keyboard Only

Navigate the page from top to bottom using only a keyboard. Check if all the interactive controls i.e. links and form elements are navigable and operable using only a keyboard. If any of the actionable elements are not reachable with keyboard or if any interactive controls cannot be activated / selected/ filled using a keyboard alone, this quick test is considered as a failure.
WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 2.1.1 Keyboard only.

Quick Test 7: Visible Focus

While performing quick test 6, verify if keyboard focus indicator is available for all the focusable elements. If the focus indicator is not available for any focusable element or if the focus indicator is not clear, this quick test is considered as a failure. 2.4.7 focus visible.
Note: Focus indicator is the bordered ring displayed around the currently focussed control to inform the current user location while tabbing through the page.

Quick Test 8: Multiple ways

While navigating through the page for Quick accessibility tests 6 and 7, verify if the application have any mechanism such as sitemap or search functionality. For large websites mechanisms such as search, table of content or sitemap helps the users in navigating to the desired page or content in multiple ways. If no such mechanisms are available this quick test is a failure.
WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 2.4.5 multiple ways.
Note: Do not fail it in all the cases. Small websites does not need such functionality.

Quick Test 9: Specifying language attribute

Open the source of the page using the short-cut control + U. In the <HTML … line of the code you should be able to find the language attribute specified (lang=”en”). The value of the lang attribute may change depending on the language of the document. If the language attribute is not specified in the source code fail it for
WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 3.1.1 Language of page.

Quick Test 10: Captions for videos

For any videos on the page either prerecorded or live, check if captions are provided. Captions sometimes called as subtitles help deaf or hard of hearing people to understand the spoken content in the video. If captions are not provided for the videos the test is failed.
WCAG 2.1 success criteria: 1.2.2 Captions (prerecorded) and 1.2.4 captions (Live).
Last updated on July 08, 2021

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Published by Maxability

Rakesh Paladugula is a dedicated accessibility enthusiast with wide experience on all forms of digital accessibility. He is a trainer, mentor, advisor, advocate and evangelist. He believes in the modern socio-scientific world digital accessibility is a fundamental right of every citizen including those who have disabilities, low literacy and are from economically backward.

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