Technical Accessibility Testing

There are two sets of internationally recognised accessibility guidelines; the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Section 508, which is predominantly used in the USA.

We have developed a range of manual testing techniques for verifying compliance with these guidelines, and use lightweight tools where they improve efficiency.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

The W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines specify 65 technical criteria to be tested, these being divided into Priority levels 1 to 3.

These tests are important but they are generic and only indicate what the level of accessibility should be, not what it actually is.

Section 508

Section 508 guidelines only apply to Federal or Federally-funded websites in the US. They comprise all the WCAG Priority 1 checkpoints plus five additional ones that are not in the WCAG.

Other Guidelines

We can test for compliance with other certification schemes such as RNIB's See-it-right, and we can advise companies wishing to create their own internal guidelines.

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

The Web Accessibility Initiative is one of four Domains within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

The terms W3C, WAI and WCAG tend to be used interchangeably (as in 'W3C testing' or 'WCAG testing') but strictly speaking the W3C is the overall organisation, WAI is a domain within it and the WCAG are the accessibility guidelines.

What to test

You don't need to test every page or every WCAG checkpoint.

See our WCAG testing process.

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