QA testing with assistive technologies

Valles, Heidi hvalles at
Fri Oct 7 16:27:35 UTC 2011

hi folks!

I was chatting with Justin this morning in the IRC channel about how we're not currently including AT testing in our QA test plans. I think it's important when we are releasing software with accessibility as a main focus to have more of a formal process for checking out how things do with assistive devices. 

Luckily, many assistive technologies either work through the keyboard or emulate keyboard functionality and keyboard testing IS included in our QA process, so we are in a good position to assume many ATs will work well with our components. Also I think most of us check things over with screen readers in the development phase of components but I'd like to see more of a final/formal test before releases. Thoughts?

The tricky part is figuring out which ATs to test - we don't want to be prescriptive or limiting. But I think we should still get some testing in regardless - can we check over our components with the most recent version of some of the more popular ATs? I could see this exercise being... fun, informative, educational, interesting, helpful!

Our QA process will also likely soon expand to include devices other than desktop: mobile, tablets, etc. How will we make decisions around which devices to test on? Perhaps that's a whole other can of worms, but possibly related.

Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now - would love to hear the community's thoughts on this.


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