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How to perform web accessibility testing? 
If you asked me what web accessibility was last year, I would have said it is the practice of making a web/ mobile app accessible to people with various disabilities such as visual, auditive, speech, physical, cognitive, or neurological disabilities. But after studying it as part of my web design module, web accessibility is so much broader than that. In this post, I will explain the term web accessibility and outline why it is so important. I will perform web accessibility testing on three websites and review their test scores.​​​​​​​

What is web accessibility, and why does it matter?
Web accessibility is the idea that everyone can access the web, whatever their ability, language, location, software or hardware.  It not only includes people with visual, auditive, speech, physical, cognitive or neurological disabilities, but people with, age-related limitations, health conditions and temporary impairments, such as, situational limitations like a slow network connection.   
The web is an important resource in many aspects of life especially during a global pandemic when people rely on it for employment, commerce, education, healthcare and communication. United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has acknowledged that access to the web is a basic human right and it is therefore essential that the web provides equal access and equal opportunity to everyone. The importance of web accessibility has seen an increase in countries adopting laws and regulations to ensure that web applications meet the needs of their citizens. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) has developed guidelines and best practices that are now internationally recognised as standards for web accessibility.  
There are many website evaluation tools that help determine if a website meets accessibility guidelines. The W3 offers a list of various websites that tests for standards Simply choose a test provider, enter the URL of the website you wish to check and evaluate the results of their web accessibility.
1. Airbnb
To test its accessibility I used Ace it - Accessibility Evaluator. Overall, Airbnb performed well scoring 88%. Out of the 14 individual issues that were recorded 7 were high on the accessibility scale. Issues included; 
No <nav> elements on this page:  The HTML5 element <nav> is used to show the area of the site to screen readers. All menus and navigation areas should be created with the <nav> element.
No <main> element on this page: The HTML5 element <main> should be used to indicate where the main content is located the page. 
No language set in the <html> element: The main language of the page should be declared in the lang attribute on the <html> element. 
The text on this page is quite complex: Two issues were noted with a high LIX value. A high LIX value (over 50) means that the text is quite hard to read.
Errors in the HTML code violating the requirements in WCAG: Two issues were in breach WCAG criteria.

2. gave the tech giant 85% with 3 violations identified.  They include; 
ARIA roles, states, and properties are invalid: Two violations were noted in the in the ARIA attributes (state, roles, and properties). Invalid markups may result in assistive technology not functioning correctly
Sub-lists are not marked up properly: Ordered lists help non-visual users navigate. Non-visual users may get "lost" in lists, especially in nested lists and those that do not indicate the specific nest level for each list item. Until user agents provide a means to identify context list clearly, content developers should include contextual clues in their lists. 

Out of the three websites tested scored the lowest with 78% with 54 issues violating WCAG 2.1 level AA. Some of the issues include;  
Embedded objects are not accessible: Programmatic objects that are embedded into a web page must be accessible. This means content such as Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, Flash movies, etc. must conform to the accessibility standards directly without an alternative. If accessible versions of the programs are not available, the embedded element should not be used
Link text is not within context: It is important for users to be able to discern the purpose of all links. When a link's purpose cannot be determined users may be required to follow the link to determine its purpose. Returning to a previous location can often be more difficult for users with disabilities using assistive technology. 
Markup documents not contained in well-formed elements: Documents that use markup languages must be well-formed. When documents are not well-formed user agents and/or assistive technology may not correctly communicate the content to users.
It is clear from my analysis that web accessibility is hugely important and is something that should not be overlooked. Web accessibility must remain at the core at the beginnings of every website design to meet the various needs of its users. For more information regarding accessibility check out Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standard at
Lawton Henry. S (2019), Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards. Available at:  (Accessed: 8 Mar 2021)
Seinamets, M. (2019), What is web accessibility? Available at: (Accessed: 8 Mar 2021)
Unknown (Unknown), Video Introduction to Web Accessibility and W3C Standards. Available at: (Accessed: 8 Mar 2021)   

Online Testing Sites
Ace it - Accessibility Evaluator
Web Accessibility
Run FAE : Functional Accessibility Evaluator 2.1
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