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Interested in accessibility testing, but not sure what the "A11Y" acronym is all about? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
In this blog, we will break down the meaning of A11Y, how the accessibility movement relates to testing, and how to develop a plan for accessibility testing utilizing an A11Y checklist.
A11Y is a numeronym for accessibility. The “11” stands for the 11 letters between “A” and “Y”. It refers to how accessible software is to everyone, including those with disabilities. The reasoning behind numeronym use is brevity.
Numeronyms date back to the 1980s, with origins at the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), a former computer equipment company. An administrator gave DEC employee Jan Scherpenhuizen an email account with the handle s12n to shorten his surname. What began as an inside joke is now shorthand in the software engineering community.
Other numeronyms aside from A11Y include: i18n (internationalization), P2P (peer to peer), and l10n (localization).
The term A11Y does not reference any specific laws or guidelines that have to do with accessible technology. A11Y is a general term used in social media and in tech circles referring to the movement for making software more accessible.
Many disabled people rely on their devices to order food, pay taxes, commute to work, and communicate with friends and family. A11Y-compatible tech is especially important for employment, which is a major area where people with disabilities have faced discrimination.
One in four people in the United States has a disability. Because of this, A11Y and accessibility testing is a vital part of a business’ makeup that cannot be ignored.
To make mobile and web apps more accessible they should be compatible with assistive technology like braille displays, screen magnifiers, readers, and more. More broadly, mobile and web applications should be designed to reach the widest audience possible by accommodating conditions like dyslexia, migraine triggers, colorblindness, and reading comprehension level.
By joining the A11Y movement and prioritizing accessibility testing, anyone can perceive, understand, and navigate tech, creating better opportunities for everyone.
Related Resources >> Accessibility Toolkit With Perfecto + Evinced
Ignoring accessibility is not only immoral, but it is also illegal. Between the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Section 508, and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), there are many regulations to meet. Failure to do so could result in fines of $75,000-$150,000. In many countries, accessibility is a right protected by law, the same way protections for people's race, religion, and gender are upheld.
Automated accessibility testing is important to ensure user satisfaction, comply with market software standards like WCAG, and avoid business loss.
So, we know that A11Y and overall accessibility are important. But how do we go about accomplishing it with our technology? Here is a checklist to get started.
This A11Y checklist does not guarantee that your mobile or web is fully accessible. However, addressing the issues in this checklist is a good place to start.
Always offer transcriptions and captions for webinars, videos, and podcasts when you can. For images, offer text alternatives and make sure your alt images are tagged correctly.
BDD testing is a simple process with Quantum. BDD tests written in plain English make it easy for anyone testing the app to understand. Stakeholders can also obtain quick and simple feedback on how an app is performing.
Another benefit of Quantum BDD testing is that these automated tests are run in the Perfecto cloud. Perfecto cloud testing ensures that executions are stable on clean and secure Android/iOS devices and desktop browsers.
Teams can begin by uploading an application file to the Perfecto repository that specifies which screen of the app should be tested for accessibility. In this example, the application file will be for the Expense Tracker's login page.
Once the application file has been uploaded, you are ready to run the native app accessibility sample: "I do an accessibility audit on the tag application screen 'Login Screen.'"
On both your Android and iOS devices, you may check and validate the Live Stream of the execution in the Perfecto dashboard.
A11Y is a movement that both growing in popularity and becoming integral to a successful and inclusive digital transformation journey. Align your accessibility testing strategy with your test cycle and synchronize your results in one place with Perfecto. You will ensure that accessibility defects are caught earlier when they are less expensive to fix.
See a demo of accessibility testing, image injection, as well as other advanced mobile testing capabilities that you can explore with Perfecto and Quantum.
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VP of Product Management, Perfecto
Tzvika Shahaf is the VP of Product Management at Perfecto. His experience includes business development, strategy, and investment in technology companies and venture capital firms. His passion is building new, powerful, and effective ways to collaborate with Global 2000 enterprises in order to resolve high-impact business problems using data-driven processes and analytics. Tzvika is partnering with leading DevOps teams to revolutionize the testing space by making it smarter, faster, and cost effective with a clear goal of maturing software delivery lifecycle. Tzvika is keynote speaker at industry leading events, blogger, and a Co-Author of the book, “Continuous Testing for DevOps Professionals: A Practical Guide from Industry Experts.”