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RE: AW: Using AT for evaluation

From: Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2012 08:17:21 +0800
To: RichardWarren <richard.warren@userite.com>, Kerstin Probiesch <k.probiesch@googlemail.com>
CC: 'Eval TF' <public-wai-evaltf@w3.org>
Message-ID: <8AFA77741B11DB47B24131F1E38227A9BBD4758955@XCHG-MS1.ads.ecu.edu.au>
HI all

I always use screen readers and am wary when clients say that they don't need testing with AT because they don't have any disabled users.  We never know the extent of employees' limitations - they don't have to disclose everything.  Also, it often happens that someone suffers an injury or illness while in employment only to find that they can't use the system now that worked for them previously.  The old 1 in 5 thought regarding disabilities applies to those in employment as to the general public in their use of a website.

So... I would suggest that AT (at least the screen reader) be strongly encouraged for all website/application testing.


Vivienne L. Conway, B.IT(Hons), MACS CT
PhD Candidate & Sessional Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, Perth, W.A.
Director, Web Key IT Pty Ltd.
Mob: 0415 383 673

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From: RichardWarren [richard.warren@userite.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 3 April 2012 2:28 AM
To: Kerstin Probiesch
Cc: 'Eval TF'
Subject: Re: AW: Using AT for evaluation

Dear Kerstin,

I don't object too much if a "real user" (ie blind person) doesn't use a
screen reader to test the site - the most important thing is that a screen
reader is used. Only a screen reader's audio output would demonstrate
misspelled words and phone numbers (thanks Denis). You would not test
without using a visual browser so you should also use an audio browser.

For an enclosed environment, such as an Intranet, it could be possible to
exclude testing with certain AT - only IF you know that the technology will
not be required. However this would then mean that the Intranet could never
be used by such a disabled person and could breach employment legislation.


-----Original Message-----
From: Kerstin Probiesch
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2012 3:51 PM
To: 'Denis Boudreau' ; 'RichardWarren'
Cc: 'Eval TF'
Subject: AW: Using AT for evaluation

Hi Richard, Denis, all,

I also think that test with "real" (at least screen reader) users are
important and that we should strongly recommend it but leave it optional. As
I remember the discussion on our last telco there are two aspects:

- testing with AT and
- accessibility supported

I think we have an intersection but also other aspects like: are
technologies like PDF and Flash accessibility supported? Depending upon the
answer it will have probably different consequences for our methodology.
Also different use cases like internet and intranet (especially when it
comes to scripting for JAWS or other screen readers in closed environments)
might have an impact. I'm thinking about if we could find for the tests of
intranets something better than just "optional" without reducing the
audience of our methodology in whole.



Von: Denis Boudreau [mailto:dboudreau@accessibiliteweb.com]
Gesendet: Montag, 2. April 2012 15:40
An: RichardWarren
Cc: Eval TF
Betreff: Re: Using AT for evaluation

Hi Richard,

I would also like to weigh in with Richard here. All too often, screen
reader testing is considered a luxury that can be done without. I am one of
those who think that an evaluation cannot be considered complete unless some
screen reader testing has been conducted - and ideally, not only by a
developer, but really by a "real" end user with a visual impairment, using
the assistive technology regularly. The same could be said of other end user
using other tools for other disabilities or limitations, but at the very
least, screen readers.

There are always things that are brought up with AT testing that cannot be
flagged using only a checklist. Some of the things that come to mind are
links used for buttons that really should be coded as <button>, an
overwhelming number of heading elements in a page (big menus and fat footers
anyone?) or quite obviously, any script that opens up or reveals content in
a page. I recently had big surprises simply with phone number formats and
how screen readers read them. That was another real eye opener (no pun

This is why I tend to follow this pattern personally:

* testing the web page with a screen reader
* using an automatic checker for basic problems
* running manual testing to complete the audit

And whenever I am being offered the budget to do so, calling in a visually
impaired friend or two who can push those tests much further that my sighted
self can push them.


On 2012-03-29, at 6:48 PM, RichardWarren wrote:

First – sorry I missed the last half of the teleconference – system crash.

I wish to add to the discussion on using AT in evaluation. I believe it is
important to use a screen reader at the very least before completing an
evaluation. We do the normal stuff first (it is not fair to ask a blind user
to struggle if we already know that the site is impossible for them). But as
soon as we are happy that a site is reasonably good we always ask someone to
check with their screen reader. Most times their comments re-inforce what we
have found (often with better phrasing <G>). But just occasionally they find
something that our other systems do not pick up. For example the word
“accesskeys” sound completely Russian unless it is written “access keys”, or

I strongly believe that the audio output needs to be checked properly. If
you look at our outline procedure sent to this list on 26 Feb you will see
that we find someone who is new to the site to use a screen reader. This
approach gives us a high level of confidence in our final evaluation.


Technical Manager
Website Auditing Limited

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Received on Tuesday, 3 April 2012 00:20:30 UTC

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