Digital Accessibility – A Social Responsibility
About 20% of the world’s population, or one billion individuals suffer from physical or cognitive impairment, making access to the entire digital world challenging. But the good news is that at least in the last decade or so, there has been a growing sensitivity towards the digital gap for ‘challenged’ individuals. And organizations worldwide are creating a more cohesive and inclusive digital experience for all.
The hallmark event which led the world to look more closely at the lack of digital access to challenged people was in the year 2017. A visually impaired man, Guillermo Robles, sued Dominos pizzas as their web and mobile sites were not accessible even with screen-reading software. The Guillermo case resulted in the US government laying down several regulations that digital enterprises are expected to adhere to. This has led to technological innovations such as speech recognition, interactive voice apps, keyboard accessibility, and ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications).
Digital Accessibility Testing – A Business Imperative
While enterprises are successfully embracing accessibility technologies, a significant new challenge they face is testing applications or solutions to ensure a seamless experience. For enterprises that are planning or in the process of testing their product’s functionality, performance, regression, security, or usability, accessibility testing should be a forerunner. This will not only help ensure that all users benefit from a uniform experience but also enable regulatory compliance and enhanced business benefits. However, according to a Gartner report 50% of large organizations will have failed to unify engagement channels which will result in a disjointed customer experience.
Five Reasons Why Digital Accessibility Testing is Important
Seamless User Experience
Only accessibility testing services will give a clear picture of whether a website is accessible by all. More significantly, where existing applications are being upgraded, the resulting bugs will emerge only during actual usage. At Impelsys, we follow the conscious-accessibility testing process. This level of attention to testing will ensure a seamless user experience.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1) is a minimum requirement for compliance adherence, and non-compliance can be considered defaulting. US enterprises must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) amendment in 2009, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities. Non-compliance can result in lawsuits and legal issues that can be avoided. Enforcement against non-compliant enterprises rose to 2200 cases in 2018 and continues to show an upward trend year on year. Impelsys independent QA and software testing engineers understand compliance and regulatory requirements. They ensure that products or solutions homegrown, procured, or managed by other providers are tested to ensure 100% accessibility across the board.
Makes Good Business Sense
The purchasing power of working-age challenged people was pegged at $490 billion, and the global disability market is nearly $7 trillion (W3C). Inclusivity in design gives an edge over the competition, as it targets a large segment of potential customers. But the reverse can be true, and losing potential customers because of disjointed user experiences can result in lost customers and lower revenues
Better Engineered End Solutions
Accessibility testing is one way of ensuring that a site is designed well and follows a certain clarity in navigation. Testing reveals all those little challenges in navigation that stand in the way of intuitive solutions.
Digital accessibility that works as planned is a unique business differentiator. Apple iPhone, for example, prides itself on its inclusivity and accessibility features. By 2023, digital products that are entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant are estimated to outperform their market competitors by 50% (Brent Stewart, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner).
Experienced accessibility testing adhering to multiple compliance standards like WCAG 2.0/2.1 Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3, Section ADA 508 (US), AODA (Ontario), Equity Act 2020 (UK), EN301-549 (Europe), GIGAW (India) standards makes Impelsys a chosen partner for enterprises worldwide. Combined with solid domain expertise, Impelsys offers manual and automation testing services, both as a part of software implementation and as standalone services.
Impelsys’ testing engineers follow a three-step process to run automation tests to discover bugs and identify common issues. This is followed by our WCAG test engineers scrutinizing issues that will impact digital performance. As a final step, a compliance report with errors will be offered. This ensures complete Accessibility compliance for the organization.
We at Impelsys, also offer Accessibility re-engineering services, where once the QA team generates the Accessibility Compliance Gap report, we help clients re-engineer these gaps in their websites and products and bring back the Accessibility conformance adherence.
To learn more about Impelsys, and our Engineering Tech Services and software testing services, visit Impelsys.com.
Authored by – Vincent Emerald,
Director-QA Practice, Technology Services.
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