Incorporating Automated Testing into your Web Accessibility Strategy

The text alternative to a PowerPoint presentation delivered by Dana Louise Simberkoff, VP Business Development, HiSoftware Company, at the November 1, 2006 meeting of Boston-IA.

Quick Links:

Slide 1:
Incorporating Automated Testing into your Web Accessibility Strategy

Dana Louise Simberkoff
VP Business Development
HiSoftware Company

Slide 2:
Who is HiSoftware?

  • What We Provide:
    • Recognized global leader for web monitoring solutions that audit, monitor, repair and enforce content and regulatory compliance since 1998.
  • Our Customers:
    • 4,000 customers including many of the US Federal agencies (IRS, DOT), Federal Reserve Bank, HP, Microsoft, University of CA, etc.
  • How We are Different:
    • Deep domain and technology knowledge of web monitoring solutions and standards through rapidly deployed offerings.

Slide 3:

  • What does accessible IT mean?
  • What are my legal risks if my website is inaccessible?
  • The legal and business case supporting accessibility-why doesn.t everybody do it?
  • The Role of automated tools

Slide 4:
Website Expansion

  • 2006 . 1b users of web
  • Internet traffic growing . 115% annually
  • 750,000 new web-sites per month
  • Information Expansion
  • Entry points /Content providers/Forms/Languages

Slide 5:
Site Quality Factors

  • Accessibility and Usability
  • Searchability
  • Privacy
  • Site Quality
  • Metadata Policy
  • Custom Checks-Corporate Standards

Back to Index

Slide 6:
Accessibility Standards for the Web

  • Section 508, Subpart B, '1194.22
    • Part of the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1998
    • Published by the U.S. Access Board
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
    • Created by the W3C., or World Wide Web Consortium
    • Guidelines have been assigned Priority Levels
    • "Priority 1" guidelines are essential for accessibility

Slide 7:
What is Accessibility?

  • True usability for everyone . including those with disabilities
  • Widespread Benefits
  • improve the product for all users
  • Fundamental requirement just like:
    • Security
    • Globalization
    • Anti Piracy
    • Performance

Slide 8:
Accessible Technology

  • Assistive technologies - "translate" text based information to the user.
  • Web elements must have text equivalents:
    • Images, multimedia, sounds
    • Tables, frames
    • Scripts, applets, objects
    • Color
    • Style sheets
    • Electronic forms

Slide 9:
Improving the Web for everyone

  • Accessibility laws - making Web-based information user-friendly for all users.
  • Based on Best practices for Web authoring and information Technology.

Slide 10:
Why you should be accessible?

Developers and marketers often ask, "Why should our site and applications be accessible?"

  • Legal and Statutory Requirements
  • Build your user base
  • Take a position of leadership in your industry
  • Grow your loyal customer base
  • The cost of retro-fitting is much higher
  • It simply makes good business sense
  • It is the right thing to do at a minimal cost

Back to Index

Slide 11:
Legal Issues

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Federal courts have held that inaccessible web sites can give rise to violations ADA (Martin v. MARTA)
  • Summary: Federal ADA suits for web accessibility is risky for everyone.

Slide 12:
Legal Issues: State Court Litigation and International Law

  • State Litigation
    • State suits under ADA (e.g. New York Attorney General settlements)
    • State suits to enforce state accessibility laws (NFB v. Target)
  • International Laws
    • UK: Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
    • Japan: Basic Law for Persons with Disabilities (May 28, 2004)
    • EU-Ministerial Declaration-Riga 2006-

Slide 13:
So...Why don't companies have accessible Web sites?

  • Lack of information
  • Bad information
  • Lack of Corporate Sponsorship

Slide 14:
Lack of information

  • Walking a mile in someone else's shoes...

Slide 15:
Bad Information.too many myths...

  • It is too hard
  • It does not fit our corporate look and feel
  • Our site will have to be plain text
  • It is impossible...

Back to Index

Slide 16:
The power of the default...

  • Def'n: A default is what happens when no 'active' decision is made.
    • Why Do Defaults Matter? (In the context of online defaults)
      • Laziness
      • Endorsement
      • Loss Aversion: Giving up outweighs getting.
  • EXAMPLE: One large German Auto site use the least expensive option as the default. Another uses no default. Changing defaults raises the average sale from 35000 euros to 36100 euros with customers just as satisfied.

Slide 17:
Skip Navigation can be...

Slide 18:
Or Skip Navigation can be...

Slide 19:
Buy in from Executive Leadership

  • Executive Management sponsorship is a must
  • Team Support To follow

Slide 20:
Good business and Market Rewards

  • Predicting or measuring exact ROI may be hard because it may not be clear which new customers have disabilities and which do not.
  • 2004: Microtel implemented a program to add accessible guest rooms throughout its chain and worked with a national disability rights group.
    • 275% increase in bookings of accessible rooms
    • 400% increase in bookings of accessible rooms over the internet

Back to Index

Slide 21:
California State University- San Marcos ADA Project Team

Slide 22:
Accessibility testing can help you accomplish other goals

  • Accessibility, plus...
    • Privacy
    • Security
    • Consistent Branding
    • Operational Security
    • Meta Data Quality
    • Customizable to meet any content management restrictions
  • Expanding services give you the tools, expertise, and manpower to get the job done start to finish

Slide 23:
Web Quality & Compliance Challenges

  • How do youEducate your organization on Compliance issues?
    • Developers, Content Providers, Business Owners etc.
  • How do youAudit thousands of Web Pages?
    • Accessibility, Privacy and Security Exposure
    • Regulatory Requirements
    • Brand Risk and Potential Litigation
  • How do youEnforce Specific Content Standards?
    • How does you know which groups are meeting their requirements?
  • How do youMeasure for Site Quality Standards
    • How does you know if sites meet internal standards?
    • Are sites meeting customer experience requirements?

Slide 24:
The Right Leadership

  • Marketing
  • Development
  • Public relations
  • End Users
  • Executive management
  • Operations
  • Professional development / training

Slide 25:
Looking Forward

Accessibility . another case of Project Management

  • Allocate resources appropriately
  • Track site progress
  • Educate employees
  • Identify problem areas
  • Integrate accessibility into quality assurance and content delivery processes
  • Keep a historical view of your Web site accessibility work

Back to Index

Slide 26:
A Phased Approach

  • Develop a plan
    • Understand standards
    • Assessement
    • Set goals
  • Implement guidelines
    • Training
  • Accessibility testing
  • Accessibility maintenance

Slide 27:

  • Baseline Status
  • Plan based on identifying risk areas
  • Assessments
    • Third party testers
    • In house users/automated testing tools

Slide 28:
Setting Goals and Standards

Critical to the project success. The goals portion of your project depends heavily on:

  • The level of accessibility that you want to accomplish
  • The current accessibility based on your assessment
  • Defining training requirements based on the assessment
  • Company resources available for the project

Slide 29:
Putting your plan into action.

Once you have a valid Web site accessibility assessment you can begin to map the steps that will be required to make your site accessible. This should begin with the training and education of the specific development teams responsible for your entire Web content.

Slide 30:
Implementing Organizational guidelines

  • Training Developers
  • Will you be retrofitting current content and developing all new content according to guidelines?

Back to Index

Slide 31:
Where can software help? Designing the Solution

Content quality testing solutions should provide a combination of user-driven interactive desktop solutions that allow developers to test their content for conformance with standards, and server side applications that allow for automated and remote testing.

They should also provide a comprehensive interface for testing content against standards for Accessibility, searchability and any custom content quality factor, allowing an organization.s experts and/or policy managers to define content policies and then provide a solution to validate compliance with these policies.

Slide 32:
Testing for Accessibility-What automated tools cannot do

An automated testing tool can be used to test your site or groups of documents in an unattended manner once they are configured. It is very important to remember that "NO" tool alone can validate the absolute accessibility of your web site.

However a good tool can identify a majority of what needs to be verified visually. Additionally a good tool will let you know what pages do not need to be verified visually, based on the absence of elements that require visual verification. Remember: You will still need to assure that all visual checkpoints identified by the solution are accessible.

Slide 33:
Automated versus Visual/Manual Testing

Slide 34:
Interview Wizard-to document manual testing...

Slide 35:
Dealing with false positives/false negatives

Back to Index

Slide 36:
Building your own rules.

Slide 37:
Configuring your automated testing solutions.

Slide 38:

Software is not a magic pill-but an overall strategy that empowers your organization to think about accessibility in the same way that you think about your brand management and overall Web quality issues.

Slide 39:
Repairing the Web

The Wizard prompts the user to correct Web elements. For images, the user views the image and enters alternitive text or a long discription

Slide 40:
History Reporting

When creating History reports, the user selects the contents for reports. This allows the user to identify the Web accessibility stattus for any point in history. Here, a Web accessibility project is idenified by weekly phases.

Back to Index

Slide 41:
What makes up a Web site?

Slide 42:
HiSoftware Content Compliance Approach

  • Build Compliance into Development Life-Cycle w/Desktop Solution:
    • Identify/resolve content compliance issues at the time of content creation,
    • Test and Repair both Transactional and Static Content
    • Integrate into Development Environment or Content Mgmt System using HiSoftware's open-API.
  • Audit Content Through HiSoftware AccMonitor Server Solution
    • Ensure that Corporate and Regulatory Standards for Web Content are being adhered to within the organization.
    • Provide a Global Audit of Web Content Compliance status on a scheduled basis and send reports to the proper stakeholders.
      • Repeatable Process
      • Offers Audit/Historic view for measuring progress

Slide 43:
What We Do

Slide 44:
"Understanding Accessibility" eBook from HiSoftware

HiSoftware has recently published a book "Understanding Accessibility" (ISBN - 1-930616-03-1). This book, is a guide to creating and testing Web sites that are developed to the U.S. federal standards for accessible Web content, and the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, accessibility guidelines. This book provides a reference on accessibility remediation.

If you would like to download a copy of the eBook, please visit HiSoftware's Web site at:

Slide 45:

Dana Louise Simberkoff
603-578-1870 x11

Back to Index

Back to top