This is based heavily on Participate in Global Accessibility Awareness Day. These activities help us use the web as people with disabilities do, and see if we can help make our sites and apps better for them.
Disability can be defined as the conflict between Ability (the functional capability of a person) and a Barrier (a problem created by a product). We can find these barriers and remove them, or avoid putting them there in the first place, opening up our sites and apps to more people.
Check order of elements
People with visual disabilities that use screen readers hear the page in the order of the HTML source of the page. People with cognitive disabilities need clear and consistent presentation of information.
- Disable stylesheets and compare the order of elements before and after.
- Check the clarity and consistency of the content and the navigation.
Check for sufficient color contrast, and for colour blindness compatibility
People with visual disabilities and those with colour blindness need information that has sufficient colour contrast and information that isn’t represented only in colour.
Enlarge your fonts
People with visual disabilities enlarge their fonts or use a zoom tool so that text is more readable.
- Resize the text to 200 percent.
- Is there any loss of content or functionality?
- Have all elements resized, including all widgets?
Go mouseless / trackpadless
People with physical disabilities use a keyboard instead of a mouse as it doesn’t require precise movements.
- Is there a visible
:focusindicator at all times as you navigate using the tab and shift tab keys?
- Are you able to interact with every element that receives focus using the keyboard alone?
- If there is any element that provides functionality if you hover over it with your mouse, such as revealing a tooltip or a set of actions, can you display this strictly using the keyboard alone?
Surf the Web with a screen reader
Blind people use screen readers to surf the web. Some people want to hear information as well as read it, such as those with visual or cognitive disabilities.
Popular screen reader and browser combinations
- Windows: NVDA (free) and Mozilla Firefox (free)
- Windows: JAWS (free trail) and Microsoft Internet Explorer (free)
- iOS: VoiceOver (
Settings > General > Accessibility) and Safari
- Android: TalkBack
(Settings > Accessibility) and Google Chrome
- MacOS: VoiceOver (
System Preferences > Accessibility) and Safari
This list is heavily based on Screen readers and web browsers – what’s the best pairing for testing?.
Try a different Operating System to your usual one. Maybe someone sitting at your table has a computer or phone that’s different to yours?