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Think about accessibility at every stage of your service design and delivery process (discovery, alpha, beta and live).

Do it yourself testing

As soon as you start writing production code, test your code regularly.

Use both automated testing and manual testing. These tests will help uncover issues with design and content.

It’s important to do both types of testing - you’ll miss some issues if you only do automated testing.

Office for Digital Government use a range of testing tools, including:

You can also get feedback from user research participants who use assistive technology. Or ask for assistive technology testing to be included in your accessibility audit.

Simulators

Experience the web as a person with a permanent, temporary and situational​ disability. The following tools provide a great introduction:

Do it yourself testing checklist

Use the accessibility checklist created by 18F (the US government’s digital agency) to help you test for common accessibility problems, including:

  • lack of keyboard accessibility (important because some people rely on using a keyboard to navigate websites)
  • link text that’s not descriptive (for example, ‘click here’ links)
  • lack of colour contrast for text and important graphics and controls
  • images not having meaningful alternative 'alt' text (where alt text is needed)
  • online forms not being marked up correctly, so the right control is associated with the right label

Some browsers have tools that make it easier to find accessibility problems in the Document Object Model (DOM). For example:

The Office for Digital Government can help with accessibility testing support and advice.

Getting an accessibility audit

Before you start searching for someone to carry out your audit, you’ll need to work out what you need from your audit.

Supporting resources

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Last update: 12 December 2019, minor edit.