Tuesday, May 16, 2017

We're Not All Ears: 30 Days of Accessibility Testing

The Ministry of Testing has declared that May should be "30 Days of Accessibility Testing". As in the days of yore when I used to take on these challenges and blog regularly, I'm in the mood to get back to doing that. Therefore, I am looking to write a post every day around this topic and as a way to address each line of their checklist.

I was away much of this past weekend, so I'm going to need to double up a couple of entries for a few days to catch back up. Thank you for your patience :).

14. Find a problem that might affect someone who is deaf.

I've already addressed this somewhat with talking about how The Testing Show offers transcripts of our shows, but I wanted to think about this a bit deeper. I mean, that's great and all, but am I really looking at a big picture here? How else are we inadvertently not allowing those who are deaf to completely take advantage of the web and mobile apps?

In my poking around, I found "5 ways to make websites more accessible for deaf people", and in it, they list a few areas I really hadn't considered, i.e. they go outside of what I typically think about:

If your contact info doesn't have multiple options, or you just list a phone number, that's certainly going to be a problem for a deaf/hoh person. In this day and age, it may seem odd to not include an email, but many sites don't. The more options allowed that let people see and type in their inquiries, the more likely they will interact with you.

Subtitle/caption for videos: Seeing as I am currently creating a podcast that uses YouTube as a delivery mechanism, it's pretty nice to see the Closed Captioning option and how it works. It misspells my name, but I'm used to that ;). Other than that, that's a great plus, so if you want to use YouTube for video content, their CC option works well.

Using Simple English, or doing our best to make our message as clear and consistent as possible makes it possible for ASL communication to be less fragmented. Keeping it simple becomes even more important for people who may not consider English their first language (i.e. ASL would be).

Using Social Media channels to help communicate is a new one for me. I hadn't considered that using services like Facebook or Twitter, by the developed familiarity that people have with those platforms, can help amplify a message or a service by using the social platform paradigms.

Streamlining Navigation is a big plus for users who are blind or with low vision, but deaf/hoh users likewise benefit from a simple to navigate site. This is an example of Inclusive Design ideas coming into the discussion, where principles for one community can help make services more usable by everyone.

My thanks to Ellen Parfitt for the original post and some things to think about :).

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