Our approach to website accessibility blends input from automated tools, accessibility experts and practicing clinicians who work daily with assistive technologies. Most importantly we incorporate comprehensive usability testing into our process which focuses on the real-world experiences of typical individuals with disabilities This approach diverges sharply from the industry practice of using paid professional testers to assess usability and is a key differentiator of our service. The people participating in our tests represent a range of potential users from individuals who are novices with their assistive technology to those who would be considered experts. Our methodology includes the following components:
Our auditing process is designed to assess regulatory compliance with the U.S. Section 508 requirements and or the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). We begin with a careful consideration of how people might interact with the website or web application. We then target pages for review by automated testing tools in order to flag and categorize errors for further analysis by an accessibility expert. Our manual review process includes a code level analysis of each error in order to verify the issue and qualify its impact on accessibility.
- VPAT Creation and Verification
- Implementation Support
Expert Review and Evaluation
The compliance testing portion of our service is followed by extensive testing with an array of assistive technologies, browsers and OS platforms. Input from clinical experts representing several rehabilitation disciplines is also incorporated into this phase. This input provides essential context from which to classify the real-world impact of accessibility issues identified during the extended testing process. Combined, these results enable our team to design high quality user interaction cases and specific targets for the usability testing that follows.
- Evaluation and Repair
- Document and Materials Accessibility
User Experience Testing
User testing provides the most accurate insight into the potential experiences of users with disabilities as they interact with your website or application. There is a crucial need for this style of feedback due to the distinct difference between accessibility and usability. A site can be technically accessible but functionally unusable due to poor organization, layout or confusing content.
In order to ensure a balanced perspective we partner with and recruit participants from the community. The specific mix of participants and the types of disabilities targeted can be tailored based on the needs of our customers. We routinely work with individuals with vision, hearing, physical and cognitive disabilities.
By closely aligning user experience testing by actual users with our compliance, technical and clinical review processes, the ATP team is able to create a holistic understanding of the accessibility issues that need to be remediated.