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Discussion on: [On-Demand Talk] Inclusive Web Development

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brian bethencourt

I'm brand new to coding and I have a ton of questions about accessibility! This might be a silly question, but I'm wondering how folks with disabilities factor into the testing process. Is it a common practice for teams to loop in folks with disabilities to give feedback/do beta testing? If so, how is this process initiated?

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Ifo Ikede

you might find the learning resources about accessibility from Test Automation univeristy testautomationu.applitools.com/

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Clifford Ouma Author

First of all, there is no silly question. All of them are valid and important😊

Yes, they can and should be factored into the testing process. First, it depends on the company, product, and teams present at your company. So let me break it down into scenarios

  1. Startup/Small-scale company. This might not have the luxury of having so many teams and employees. So there might not be a UX team. Therefore, the engineering team members might have to put on different hats when required. So in the part of usability testing, the team might have to include People With Disabilities(PWDs). The testing should have a representative fraction of your users
  2. Medium and Large-scale companies. These companies might have a dedicated UX design and UX research team. Therefore they'll do all the heavy lifting for the engineering team when it comes to things like usability testing. QA testers might also help in crafting out some test cases that help ensure accessibility is considered and is tested.

However, I'd like to point this out, accessibility is a really wide and deep topic. There is accessibility in terms of design and also there is accessibility in terms of engineering and I'm sure there are other fields involved. So depending on whichever field you are in a11y is a key concept that should be explored

Also, let's view disability differently. There are 2 types of disabilities:-

  • Permanent disabilities. These include things like blindness, locomotor disabilities e.t.c. These are the common ones and what people mainly consider
  • Situational/Temporary disability. These are based on a person's current situation/environment and change after some time. Examples include a mother carrying a child and trying to use the phone, Someone with a broken arm, someone using your app in bright sun to even someone having low internet bandwidth. These are the ones people don't focus on and are still part of the disability.

Sorry for the long message but to summarize and answer your question straight to the point. Yes, it is a common practice to loop in PWDs. The process can be initiated by recruiting testing participants that are a representative sample of your users. By this, I mean people who represent the whole pool of users your product will have. This will give great inclusive insights that will improve the product overall.

Hope this answers your question. If you need more clarification, just reach out. I'd be happy to help