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Accessibility Testing in the New Age of Web Pages

Accessibility Testing in the New Age of Web Pages

Our testing services ensure your website and mobile devices are WCAG 1.0 and WCAG 2.0 compliant. WCAG 2.0 is a globally accepted standard for web accessibility developed by an international team of experts, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WCAG 2.0 sets out guidelines for organizations to make their websites more accessible for people with disabilities using assistive technology. QA Consultants can help you become compliant. We have the skilled people, software, diagnostic tools, systems, hardware platforms and devices necessary to test compliance for your website. We can provide comprehensive reports that demonstrate your organization’s intent to meet these requirements while working closely with your in-house development teams and outside vendors to correct non-accessible web pages and interfaces.

QA Consultants understands the importance of testing web pages, offering assistive technology so that there are no restrictions as to who can access websites via Internet Explorer etc. As such, QAC does not isolate itself to Manual Testing but offers Automated Accessibility Testing as well. Using automation tools and accessibility testing tools, following accessibility standards, and repairing accessibility issues.

About 20% of the population has accessibility issues.

  • 1 in 10 people has a severe disability.
  • 1 in 2 people over the age of 65 have reduced abilities.

Disabilities include blindness, deaf, handicapped, or any disorder in the body.

A software product can cater to this big market if it is made disabled friendly. Accessibility issues in software can be resolved if manual or automated accessibility testing is made part of the normal software testing life cycle.

The following are a compilation of disability statistics from government agencies and researchers in the US, UK, and Canada. The statistics shown have the most impact on website use and help assess the impact of accessibility problems, in terms of numbers of people affected, and likely commercial impact.

Incidence of key disabilities


Reading difficulties
15%-20% of people in the US have reading difficulties, including dyslexia (source: A study in 2009 by Cass Business School found that around 20% of UK entrepreneurs and 35% of US entrepreneurs are dyslexic (Bill Gates and Richard Branson are textbook examples).

Colour blindness
8% of Caucasian males in the US suffer from some form of colour blindness, compared to 0.5% of females. (source: Incidence of colour blindness differs between ethnic groups – from 1% in Inuit to 8% in Caucasian males.

Dexterity difficulties
7% of working age adults have severe dexterity difficulty (source: The Wide Range of Abilities and Its Impact on Computer Technology– Microsoft / Forrester). Severe dexterity difficulties mean users are unlikely to use a mouse and rely on the keyboard instead.

Difficulty hearing
4%-5% of people in the US, UK and Canada suffer from difficulty hearing (sources:, Statistics Canada, UK ONS) Incidence increases sharply in over-60s, with more than 20% of over-75s affected.

Difficulty seeing
3%-4% of people in the US, UK and Canada can’t see well enough to read (sources:, Statistics Canada, UK ONS) Incidence increases with age, with more than 10% of over-70s affected.


Incidence of disability by age

Diagram showing the relationship between the incidence of 3 types of disability and age
Description of diagram “Incidence of disability by age”:
Reading, hearing and cognitive difficulties affect less than 5% of population under 55. Incidence increases with age: 10% of over 65s are affected, and more than 15% of over 75s are affected.
Hearing and sight becomes poorer as people get older, but these same people often have large amounts of disposable income and leisure time. This presents particular challenges for web sites selling items which appeal to an older demographic, such as travel and cruises


Alt Text

According to HubSpot, “alt tags” and “alt descriptions,” are what is known as alt text. Alt text is the written copy that appears in place of an image on a webpage if the image fails to load on a user’s screen. This text helps screen-reading tools describe images to visually impaired readers and allows search engines to better crawl and rank your website.” Alt text is vital and allows the user to determine whether a person appears injured or is wearing the latest fashion trends. Beyond clothing options, alt text allows for visually impaired people to give context to the image and a company better SEO ranking.

For example, poor alt text looks like this “Recipe tasty food good”

Correct alt text looks like this, “Spaghetti noodles and red sauce topped with shredded cheese”

The difference between the two are night and day. The first one is closer to keyword stuffing, while the second option is descriptive and provides a clear image to the reader.

Accessibility Tools

Accessibility tools are specifically used to measure how those with disabilities can navigate, perceive and understand a web site. Such tools are able to read a site to those who may not be able to see or hear the website contents. In the market, there are a variety of tools ranging from to WorldSpace. With the success that QA Consultants has had in the past with previous accessibility projects, our seasoned professionals are able to determine the required tools for a personalized fit.

User Testing

User testing is the practice of monitoring how the end user interacts with the product or service. Such behaviour studies allow the company to make adjustments based on real-life usage. The user is usually given tasks such as completing an action from start to finish. For example, a user could be asked to complete a bank transaction. Every step from where to enter the bank card in the ATM, to where to press on the screen, to obtain funds and an account slip is user testing in action. In the case of those who accessibility issues, each step could be a potential issue in itself.

Why it’s important

Becoming compliant is the right thing to do. If customers can’t operate your site, your message becomes ineffective.

Benefits of accessibility compliance:

  • Reduce regulatory and business risk
  • Enhance website performance and quality
  • Improve user access and satisfaction

We can help you with WCAG 2.0 A/AA compliance, AODA compliance, or Section 508 compliance.

In the past, Fortune 500 companies have been sued because their products or web sites did not provide a disabled friendly user interface.

It is best to create assistive technology for people with disabilities so that they can access websites, and avoid lawsuits.

WCAG/Section 508


Beginning January 1, 2021: all public websites and web content posted after January 1, 2012, must meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA other than criteria 1.2.4 (live captions) and 1.2.5 (pre-recorded audio descriptions).

Our accessibility testing solution uses the following three-step approach to reduce risk, enhance web performance, and improve user access:

  1. Client discovery – deliverable: a report outlining findings, the scope of requirements
  • What are the relevant WCAG/accessibility specifications for the website and application?
  • What elements of the website should be tested?
  • Where else on the website can WCAG/accessibility be implemented for improved performance?
  1. Build a simulated, real-user environment – deliverable: testing recommendations and plan
  • Use identified requirements from client discovery (phase 1) to define hardware, software, tools and settings in order to simulate the real-world set-up of a daily use environment for a person with a disability
  1. Test case selection, updating and execution – deliverable: a report outlining defects and website recommendations:
  • Define new, pre-built and in-scope test cases
  • Undertake testing



The Ontario government regulations require that websites meet a specific deadline according to company category as listed below.

Government of Ontario and Ontario Legislative Assembly

  • New* internet and intranet websites and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2012
  • All* internet websites and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2016
  • All internet and intranet websites and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2020

Designated Public Service Organizations

(Such as hospitals, universities and other public bodies as listed in Table 1 of Ontario Regulation 146/10)

  • New internet and web content: Compliance with Level A by 1 January 2014
  • All* internet and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2021

Large Organizations

(Those that provide goods, services or facilities to third parties and has 50 or more employees)

  • New internet and web content: Compliance with Level A by 1 January 2014
  • All* internet and web content: Compliance with Level AA by 1 January 2021

* excluding captions on live videos and audio descriptions for pre-recorded videos

Is your web site AODA compliant? If not, your organization runs the risk of experiencing a regulatory audit, bad publicity and missing out on an important user community. QA Consultants is the first and leading provider of compliance testing to meet the Government of Ontario’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. The Act’s objective is to make websites and applications accessible to users with various disabilities (auditory, visual, cognitive and motor) through the application of user interface (UI) standards and compatibilities with a third-party application. The AODA mandate commenced on January 1, 2012, and applies to all private and public organizations that provide goods and services to the public.

Our experienced compliance solutions team ensures that an organization’s web site content and user interface complies with AODA’s requirements – following the principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. We apply our proven testing methodology, pre-built test cases and industry expertise to quickly and effectively evaluate a web site and estimate potential risks and ideal fixes.

Contact us and find out how we can help your company become compliant.
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