With the awareness and prioritization of Digital Accessibility becoming more mainstream thanks to powerful international legislation such as the United States’ Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the European Union’s European Accessibility Act (EAA), it can be easy to confuse Accessibility and Usability.
Digital Accessibility means that websites, platforms, applications, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. Digital Accessibility assists those with impairments better perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with, and contribute to digital assets. Digital Accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to digital assets, including: auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual impairments.
The level of compliance with Digital Accessibility guidelines such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), can often be determined with an accessibility audit. There are various tools and techniques that can help automate an accessibility audit. Accessibility audits focus on identifying severe and critical blockers that users with disabilities would encounter. Most audits will provide a report which includes remediation recommendations to help you achieve your desired level of compliance.
Accessibility audits are very useful, however they do not necessarily address usability. Just like User Experience (UX) for design, usability testing focuses on how a user interacts with and experiences a digital asset. It includes a person’s perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency. For example, an automated accessibility audit may scan an image, and as long as that image has a tag that can be read, it would likely pass a certain level of WCAG compliance. However, the tag could read “image.png.” It would take a human performing a usability test in order to identify and remediate that issue to make sure the tag was actually descriptive of that image.
Although some components of usability testing can be automated, it largely requires human interaction. AllAccessible includes the world’s first usability remediation tool built into our administrative dashboard. Using the remediation tool, administrators can quickly and easily make usability edits to your site components such as aria labels and image labels with no coding required.
You can learn more about AllAccessible’s remediation Tool by going to AllAccessible.org