Ensuring digital accessibility is crucial to creating an inclusive and welcoming online experience for all users. However, automated testing alone may not be enough to catch all accessibility issues. This is why manual testing for digital accessibility is so important.
Automated tools are useful, BUT…
Automated testing tools can be helpful for identifying common accessibility issues, but they may not catch more nuanced issues that require human interpretation. For example, an automated tool may flag an image without an alt tag, but it may not catch an image with an inaccurate or misleading alt tag. On the other hand, manual testing can provide more comprehensive coverage and catch issues that automated tools miss. Sure, automated tools can be helpful, but they may miss more complex issues that require human interpretation.
Manual testing for document accessibility
That’s why it can be extremely beneficial as well for digital documents to be manually tested for accessibility. While automated tools can help to identify basic accessibility issues in documents, manual testing can catch more nuanced issues such as readability, contrast, and navigability. This is particularly important for documents such as PDFs, which are commonly used in business and government settings.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) provide a framework for ensuring digital accessibility, but they do not cover all possible accessibility issues. Manual testing can help to identify and address issues that may not be explicitly covered by WCAG, ensuring a more comprehensive and user-centric approach to digital accessibility.
Embracing and adopting best practices has far-reaching benefits
By having manual testing as part of the process, you ensure that digital accessibility is integrated into a company’s culture. By testing and ensuring digital accessibility, companies can demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and create a culture that prioritizes accessibility. This can lead to improved customer trust, loyalty, and engagement.
But not all companies can afford to have an in-house team whose sole focus is manually testing websites and documents. Many companies choose to go with outside experts, whose sole focus is solving these sorts of digital problems.
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