mc: Accessibility Test Tactics - ARIA In Action

Presenter: Sara Tabor, Jenny Dang

Quality Assurance teams often uncover a hidden business requirement, often overlooked until late in the game: accessibility! Businesses that have an online presence should provide accessibility to disabled users. Not only are there ethical and commercial justifications for implementing the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, in some countries and jurisdictions, there are also legal reasons (US, EU, Australia, Canada, etc). As an example, in January 2017, the U.S. Access Board approved a final rule to update Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The rule requires adherence to the new standards twelve months from its date of publication in the federal register, making 2018 a year where legal actions will be followed for the businesses that do not comply.


This course teaches test engineers and managers to master this important domain: how to conform to requirements, design winning test strategies, and successfully execute a11y tests - and how to avoid panic.


We will discuss a holistic approach to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 A/AA standards set, providing test context to people with disabilities (PwD). As a result of attending workshop, participants will have clear understanding of user roles and the reasoning for multiple standards, applying context-driven testing processes in either an automated or manual test deliverable. There will be a demonstration of some preferred toolsets and resources for test execution - as well as their shortcomings.


In this practical skills application workshop, participants will learn the following skillsets:

  • Comprehension of the POUR principles, and how they apply to all test activities.
  • Appropriate usage of WCAG 2.0 standards to a project.
  • Toolsets used for manual and semi-automated test execution.
  • Manipulation of a website using two primary adaptive methods - keyboard navigation and screenreader navigation.
  • Context-driven test planning and documentation of test progress.
  • Ticket writing and a11y epic management, using JIRA as an example.
  • Hands-on demonstrations of adaptive hardware and software.


In addition, the participants will be prepared with the following concepts:

  • American, EU, and other international law expectations regarding digital accessibility.
  • Perspectives of People with Disabilities to provide test context and user role planning.
  • “Shift Left” activities and advocacy for business awareness, likely roles and responsibilities to accessibility within an organization, as well as cost vs. timing arguments.
  • Current events in the world of accessibility, as well as cutting edge technology intersections with universal design.
  • Test planning for creative technology where WCAG standards leave off.


Participants are requested to bring a Windows or Mac operating system laptop and headphones to this course. PC laptop users will be requested to download NVDA, a free screenreader software. Mac laptop users will use built-in accessibility features.

Sara Tabor


Sara Tabor is a Director of Quality Assurance for the NYC digital agency Code and Theory. She has worked in the technology field for the last eighteen years, concentrating on website and application development quality assurance for the last seven years. Prior to her time at Code and Theory, she was most recently with Deep Focus/Noise, as a Quality Assurance Director, and prior, with The Nerdery as a Quality Assurance Manager.

Her passion lies in providing detailed feedback to help developers become more skilled at their craft, as well as process management and improvement strategies. She loves working with QA Engineers to create a valuable career path, and mentor each to become creative problem finders. She also builds end-to-end awareness and iterative feedback for accessibility needs within the C&T organization.

When not making the web more awesome, you can find her at the ice rink playing sled hockey, clumsily learning the ukulele, checking out local breweries, and unhooking her cat's claws from her sweater.

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