The Digital Accessibility Assessment is a rigorous testing process that thoroughly examines the accessibility of your digital services. It incorporates testing on mobile and/or tablet devices as well as on desktop computers.

The Digital Accessibility Assessment includes three levels of testing:

  1. Automated testing
  2. Technical manual review
  3. User testing

This range of tests ensures a comprehensive review of your web platform in order to identify any accessibility issues.

Testing is carried out by Shaw Trust Accessibility Service’s computer and smartphone users who themselves have  disabilities. Some use assistive technologies during the testing. Examples include JAWS and NVDA screen readers, Dragon voice activation software and ZoomText magnification. Our testing team  also includes keyboard only users and those who don’t require assistive technology or software, such as testers with dyslexia, colour blindness or anxiety/panic disorder.

Mobile assessments

Did you know?

More than half of global web browsing is now undertaken on mobile and tablet devices (51.3% in 2016, according to web analytics firm StatCounter).

That’s why it’s essential that the mobile version of your website is just as accessible as the desktop version.

We test the suitability of your digital services for use by people with mobility impairments, who have difficulty making the precise movements required by touch screen devices. We also undertake tests by users who have colour blindness, dyslexia, and/or learning difficulties, along with those who are partially sighted and need to zoom into or resize content. Our testing team also includes users who are deaf or hard of hearing.

As part of the Digital Accessibility Assessment, the Shaw Trust Accessibility Services team uses market-leading devices such as iPhones, iPads and Samsung Galaxy smartphones to test your web platform. Our technical accessibility experts and assess or use these devices both with and without their accessibility features enabled.

Examples of standard smartphone/tablet accessibility technologies include the VoiceOver and TalkBack screen readers, designed for blind users. Many devices also feature a magnification application with screen reader for partially sighted users.

The Digital Accessibility Assessment provides a fully comprehensive audit of your website, intranet or extranet’s accessibility, and goes much further than the testing available in Accessibility Lite.

Did you know?

Some automated tools do not test every WCAG criterion, and it can be difficult to determine the quality of accessibility solutions.

Automated tools can be a useful and cheap way of helping you make a service more accessible. They are quick to run and provide immediate feedback.

However, while it can certainly be helpful to run an automated testing tool on a service, it’s important that teams don’t rely on them too heavily. No tool will be able to pick up every accessibility barrier on a website. So just because a tool hasn’t picked up any accessibility issues on a website, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

It’s worth noting that even if automated tests detect an accessibility barrier, sometimes the results they give are inconclusive or require further investigation. Also in some cases results can be incorrect due to the standardised approach of the tests.

A good analogy is to think of a testing tool as like using a spellchecker. It can certainly help you pick up issues, but it should never be used in isolation. To be most useful, automated tools should be combined with manual inspection and user research.