During your ICT development, you need to continuously test that you are meeting the Section 508 requirements identified to apply. Use a combination of automated and manual testing as an integral part of your overall quality assurance process.
- Use automated accessibility scanning tools
- Conduct manual accessibility tests
Automated website testing tools can ‘crawl’ through the pages of a website and evaluate certain aspects of accessibility. These tools can be used to provide some indication of the likelihood that the website could pose accessibility problems for users. Automated scanning provides an important first-pass 'screening' that can identify if a website is not accessible or does not comply with accessibility standards by testing for the absence of valid required elements and/or attributes.
Automated scanning cannot determine if a website is accessible or conformant with accessibility standards. Many accessibility checks require human judgment and must be evaluated manually using different techniques.
Manual testing requires a tester to play the role of an end user and use most or all features of the application to help ensure accessibility. The tester must be expert in web accessibility and proficient in the use of input device alternatives and other assistive technologies. It is good practice to include persons with disabilities as testers for manual testing.
Tools, Guidance, and Resources
A BuyAccessible Wizard session will produce an Acceptance Guide tailored for that product. The Acceptance Guide includes a list of provisions that are relevant as well as answers to the question, "How can I tell if this requirement is met?"
Quick Reference Guide
Years ago GSA facilitated the Accessibility Forum. Over 960 individuals from more than 600 companies, associations for people with disabilities, research and standards institutes, and government agencies from throughout the US and Canada registered interest and contributed in the work of the Forum. One of the documents that came out of the Forum was the Quick Reference Guide, which lists every Section 508 provision, defines terms, explains the provision, and answers, "How can I tell if this provision is met?"