Accessibility Labs - AccessibleTech
The primary purpose of testing in accessibility labs is to make certain that information systems can be used by people with disabilities. A properly implemented system will provide access to information to people that use assistive technologies and it will increase usability for everybody. Compatibility with assistive technologies is achieved with accessibility testing that is a series of tests utilizing specialized software and hardware.
Testing takes place in our labs, in DC Metro area, on I-270 Technology Corridor, using the same tools that people with disabilities use to access content.
Test for accessibility is a complex multi-layer task that involves a combination of tools and people. It is not an automated one stop method, rather a repeated scrutiny type of work performed from many different angles. Although it begins with few easy objective steps, it develops to a complex effort since most of the problems are hidden in common sight. Accessibility testing requires experience and specialized equipment to achieve compliance, in AccessibleTech we take these qualities seriously to ensure that content and functionality can become fully accessible to people with one or more disabilities including visual, audio, kinetic, speech, and cognitive impairments.
To address these needs the accessibility guidelines are organized around four principles:
- Content must be perceivable.
- Interface elements in the content must be operable.
- Content and controls must be understandable.
- Content must be robust enough to work with current and future technologies.
The principles above, based on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), constitute the general idea of what accessibility should cover. In general terms, accessibility is a subjective topic and technology agnostic, while compliance on the other hand is an objective one that abides with specific guidelines. There are guidelines that provide specific standard based directives on what an information system should contain to be compliant yet true accessibility is the ultimate goal that is achieved with a series of thorough specialized testing.