Shaw Trust is proud to have a team of testers, who understand from both their first-hand experience of disability and their professional expertise, how important digital accessibility is.

With more than 30 years combined experience, the team is passionate about supporting organisations to improve the accessibility of their services.

Our user testing team uses specialist skills to test on a wide range of assistive technologies including JAWS and NVDA screen readers, Dragon voice activation software and ZoomText magnification. We test the true accessibility of a wide range of web platforms against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

The user testing team includes people with a range of impairments and disabilities. These include:

  • Blindness
  • Low vision
  • Colour blindness
  • Dyslexia
  • Learning disabilities
  • Mobility impairments
  • Deafness
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Anxiety/panic disorder

Find out more about our testers by visiting meet the team.

The processes employed by Shaw Trust Accessibility Services mean that we can provide our customers with real insights into the user experience of their services. We blend this with expert technical knowledge in order to advise on the best solutions for achieving full accessibility. Our findings are detailed in an easy to understand report with clear explanations of any required actions.

As an open and inclusive service, we invite all our customers to attend the user testing sessions for their digital platforms. Customers can attend either in person or virtually. We have found that this is a great way to provide first-hand insights into the barriers faced by users. Customers can glean a greater understanding of the uses (and limitations) of adaptive technology and enjoy an enhanced appreciation of the value that making their digital services accessible can bring.

See our web developers blog.

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.


Please contact the Shaw Trust Accessibility Services team to arrange for user testing of your web platform.