a11y accessibility
January 11, 2024

A11Y Accessibility Testing Trends

Accessibility Testing

One in four people in the United States—around 27 percent of the population—currently lives with a disability. Furthermore, 15 percent of the total global population lives with a disability. Given these statistics, it is shocking that only 3 percent of U.S. websites are fully accessible. 

If you have heard the term ‘A11Y accessibility’ before, it is for good reason. A11Y accessibility is a movement that helps further the goal of creating fully accessible software that can be utilized by all people, regardless of their abilities. A11Y accessibility has come a long way since its inception, but there is still work to be done to ensure all people can navigate and experience software applications to their fullest potential.

In this blog, we will explore the latest A11Y accessibility testing trends, as well as dive into why A11Y accessibility is so important in creating a more inclusive world. 


What Is A11Y Accessibility?

A11Y accessibility refers to how accessible software is to all users, including those with visual, hearing, physical, or cognitive impairments. ‘A11Y’ is a term originally coined on social media and in the tech industry for the movement to make software more accessible. (The 11 stands for the 11 letters between A and Y in ‘accessibility’).


The Importance of A11Y Accessibility

While A11Y accessibility does not encompass any specific laws, there are regulations in place that aim to ensure accessibility testing meets the needs of all users. For instance, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Section 508, and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Failure to comply with these laws and guidelines could result in fines up to $150,000. 

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) play a large role in defining and promoting accessibility for developers and testers. The acronym ‘POUR’ is used to ensure content is perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. 

A11Y as a movement reminds software testers and developers to prioritize accessibility testing, as too often it is not performed during the software development lifecycle due to lack of automation, or simply due to lack of prioritization. 

Prioritizing A11Y accessibility not only helps teams meet legal standards, but it also improves overall user experience for all users, not just those with disabilities.


Related Reading: Ensure Accessibility With Our Comprehensive A11Y Checklist


A11Y Accessibility Trends

As artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to grow in prominence in the tech industry (and in all industries) A11Y accessibility testing must keep pace. The good news is that these technological advancements can greatly benefit testing teams in their mission to prioritize accessibility testing. 

Let us take a look at some of the growing trends in A11Y accessibility testing:


Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and ML play a significant role in promoting accessibility in software applications. AI allows teams to develop and test assistive technologies, such as virtual assistants, chatbots, and other e-accessibility features. AI-driven test data, scriptless coding, machine learning, and the adoption of AI and ML-based tools to streamline and automate testing will help further your A11Y accessibility testing goals. 

Related Reading: The Future of Testing: A Conversation About the Use of AI and ML

VoiceOver and TalkBack

Screen reader accessibility testing is a major point of consideration for teams looking to comply with A11Y accessibility. Because vision can differ across a wide spectrum, testing teams need to take into consideration blindness, color blindness, photosensitivity, and other visual concerns when developing software applications. 

VoiceOver and TalkBack are two trends that assist those with visual impairments. These screen readers make it possible for anyone with a visual impairment to interact with a device or application. 

  • VoiceOver (iOS) – Provides audible descriptions of the device screen.
  • TalkBack (Android) – Describes user actions using spoken words and provides alerts and notifications through vibrations and other audible feedback.

Perfecto is leading the way with A11Y accessibility testing through our support of VoiceOver and TalkBack and by providing the option to enable these screen readers during manual testing. This teams ensure that UI elements are correct and facilitating the identification of potential problems early on.

Inclusive Mobile UX Design

Inclusive design elements that comply with A11Y accessibility testing standards are another key trend. Inclusive mobile UX design considers the needs of all users, regardless of their abilities, at the inception of the design process. Treating inclusive mobile UX design as a priority at the beginning of the software development process, rather than treating it as an afterthought, ensures a more robust user experience for all individuals. 

Related Reading: How to Excel at Usability Testing for Mobile Apps


Bottom Line

Perfecto is proud to be an industry leader in the early adoption of A11Y accessibility testing trends that enhance the lives of all end users. From the support of screen reader accessibility features, including VoiceOver and TalkBack, to embracing the use of AI and ML in testing, Perfecto ensures your applications are accessible to all users. 

Perfecto facilitates the testing of a wide range of accessibility scenarios while ensuring that your app keeps up with today’s ever-evolving technological landscape. When you perform your A11Y accessibility testing with Perfecto, you will experience:

  • Unified testing
  • Advanced automation.
  • Full toolchain integration.
  • All results in one place.
  • Accelerated testing.
  • Shift Testing Left.

It is no wonder why Perfecto is trusted by over half of Fortune 500 companies. Experience Perfecto first-hand by signing up for a free 14-day trial today. 

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