Topic: Automated accessibility tools

  • Focus was not on showcasing the best tool but on discussing the big questions about the purpose of the tools.
  • Important thing to remember: most current tools have low accuracy, possibly 30% or less for web applications with a lot of dynamic content. There is a need for human expert interpretation and reevaluation of findings.
  • Why do we test? To convince third party vendors, to improve applications, to avoid early costly mistakes, to have a "canary in the mine" and have a crude "yes / no" opinion about how good or bad an app is - the same tool won't probably address all possible needs.
  • Who should test? It depends on the goals and the expertise level of the tester; even the most accurate results would require interpretation.
  • When to test? Again, it depends on a lot of factors such as the velocity of development and the number of iterations, as well as again the accessibility expertise of the the person interpreting test results.
  • Testing is usually done against a standard - and here at CU Boulder because of our accessibility policies that means WCAG 2.0 AA; the standard has limits so sometimes things that are discovered in testing do not fit the standard requirements but create real-life accesibility problems.

Other topics

  • The value of accessibility certification: no first hand experience in the audience, but general opinion is that it is great for learning, not necessarily great for prestige or employability because the profession is fragmented.
  • Need to understand the categories in AUL reports among service owners and project managers: "Severe" doesn't necessarily mean hard to remediate from a development standpoint.
  • Ongoing need for demos of screen reader users working with assistive technology to raise awareness anf the undertsanding of the issues they are facing - AUL staff is always open to doing those because they move us forward as a campus more than almost anything else we can do in the accessibility space.
  • Idea for a future open house: Sharing news from those who attend AHG 2017 in November - and bringing back any new info about certification that we may find there.