An Approach to Accessible Development and Testing

My aim is to determine a methodical approach to development and testing for accessibility.

Vision Australia’s Tips for Accessibility Testing¬†recommend first determining ‘the accessibility standards and level you are trying to achieve’.

What level of conformance?

As an individual what level should I aim to achieve?

The Australian Human Rights commission advises:

Non-government websites and web resources whose development commences after July 1 2010 should comply with WCAG 2.0 to a minimum of AA-Level conformance.

So WCAG 2.0 AA is the minimum benchmark for my work. Conformance to WCAG 2.0 AAA may be applicable and achievable in some cases. However, the W3C, in a document on Understanding Conformance to WCAG 2.0 states:

It is not recommended that Level AAA conformance be required as a general policy for entire sites because it is not possible to satisfy all Level AAA Success Criteria for some content.

But before I incorporate accessibility into my development and testing processes, what resources can offer a perspective on how information on the web can be accessed?

Understanding how the web is accessed

W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) provides useful information on how people with disabilities use the web.¬†Although this resource is still in draft form it still provides a good insight into the barriers poorly designed sites cause.

Accessibility development and testing processes

The W3C WAI provides a customisable quick reference for WCAG 2.0 guidelines and development techniques.

The W3C Wiki contains a comprehensive document on Accessibility Testing.

As accessibility is not a new practice, there are reputable organisations that have published their accessibility processes. These include:

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