Iridium Interactive Blog

An iridiumInteractive Blog: Transforming + Enlightening Businesses Online Raising Collective Social Intelligence

Testing Accessibility of a Website

What is accessibility?

Accessibility means the ability to make available technology to both disabled as well as regularly abled people  without any discrimination.
For e.g: If a person visits your website and has a disability, say  low vision, there should not be any difficulty for him to gather all the information available in the website – information accessible to any vistor should be available to the disabled person also. Hence , the ability to access any information/service on the web  by any kind of person irrespective of his/her disability is said to be accessibility.

Why should we make the website accessible?

Accessibility is part of your job
To many people who make a living from designing or programming websites, accessibility is something unknown,  something frightening and something that is hardly ever taken into account

I don’t understand that way of thinking at all. Accessibility is one of the fundamentals of the Web, so how people  who claim to be passionate about the Web and  deliver high quality,  can choose to ignore it is beyond me.


Why Accessibility? Because It’s Our Job!
Its-our-job/ If we call ourselves professionals, we owe it to our clients, their clients, and ourselves, to do our job properly.

A chef must care about health,
a builder must care about safety,
and we must care about accessibility.

Now if only everybody working in the web industry could take their jobs seriously enough to realise that accessability is a must….
For more information on how it is not taken seriously,  click the link below

Most websites’ failing Accessibility

There are certain laws which make the accessibility  compulsory  for the websites. Companies all over the world have now started to make there websites accessible.

There are well defined  guidelines on Web accessibility provided by ‘World Wide Web Consortium W3C’, even section 508 (1194.22) gives 16 points to be satisfied by the websites to make them accessible. The Web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) suggested by W3c are 14 with priority levels.

WCAG and Section 508 guidelines:
Section 508:

The legislation referred to as “Section 508″ is actually an amendment to the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The amendment was signed into law by President Clinton on August 7, 1998. Section 508 requires that electronic and information technology that is developed by or purchased by the Federal Agencies be accessible by people with disabilities.

W3C is the World Wide Web consortium which has a control over the websites through out the world and gives a 14 point list of guidelines called WCAG guidelines. In the year 1999 the first version of WCAG guidelines were  released (WCAG 1.0) , the next version of guidelines, finalized in november 2008 (WCAG 2.0). are about to release by December  2008.

For a complete list of WCAG guidelines visit:
WCAG recommendations Section 508 :
Section 508: The Road to Accessibility

Tools for testing Web accessibility:
Our CEO and Founder Sriram Bharatam and the other experts in this area in the organization have suggested the following tools for testing the accessibility of websites

Ten tools for testing accessibility

For a complete list of the tools see the following link Complete list of testing tools

Manual Testing of accessibility
Here is some useful  information to check accessibility of your website manually.

Manual checks for web accessibility

Here are some other ways to test accessibility manually

Case 1:Check whether the text in the site can be enlarged and decreased in size .

This can be done by activating different options of text size sub menu in view menu of internet explorer.
In Internet explorer view>textsize>largest, larger, medium, smaller, smallest . Or press alt+v+x+g(for largest), l (for larger) , m (for medium) , s ( for smaller),a(for smallest)

Case 2: Check whether enough contrasting is available for people with low vision to easily use the website. This can be done by changing the settings in display options in control panel .
Press shift + alt+ print screen to get high contrast dialog box.

Case 3: Avoid the feature of opening the link in a new window.
This can be done by avoiding target attribute in links . It is not suggested that this be  completely avoided,  but it is advisable to decrease the usage. This  is suggested because when the focus moves to new window , it confuses for a visually impaired user.

Case 4: Make sure that Maps and Graphical representations are understandable by every one.
You can do this by giving long descriptions for maps and graphs.

Case 5: Make sure that all the assistive devices are able to work perfectly in your website.
You can do this by using screen readers , screen magnifiers and even checking with keyboard and mouse.
(a) Verify the short cuts and all the other related features of the assistive devices are working perfectly .
(b) Make sure that the screen magnifier is magnifying the text and is perfect.

Case 6: Check whether your webpage can be navigated entirely using key board and mouse.
You can do this by checking with your standard input devices keyboard and mouse and verify that you can navigate from left top to right bottom.

Case 7: Check whether  labels are given to all elements.
You can do this in JAWS by opening the virtual features dialog box by pressing insert +f3 and selecting the required element .
Now the list of the particular element is opened , if it shows ‘unlabel’ in the list it is said to be unlabeled.

Case 8: Conforming the title and making sure that it is the required one.
Setting title for the webpage is a must and it should be like this,
Website name : visited link 1 : visited link 1 (a) :visited link 1(a)(1)
Here the website name is ‘website name’ visited link 1 refers to the link in home page , visited link 1(a) refers to the link home page> visited link 1> visited link 1(a) …

Case 9: Make sure that there are no blank spaces in the web pages.
The table attribute makes your websites read blank with screen readers and this can be restricted by using divs in most cases instead of tables.

Benefits if the website passes the accessibility test:
What are the benefits if a web site is accessible?
Click here to get the information
Benefits in making a website accessible



2 Discussions on
“Testing Accessibility of a Website”
  • A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing slightly analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If attainable, as you grow to be expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is extremely helpful for me. Massive thumb up for this blog post some tips here subliminal

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.