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May 6, 2022
3-5 minutes

All You Need To Know About Manual Accessibility Testing Experts

Never before has web accessibility been such a critical consideration for businesses. 

The good news is that there is more than one way to meet digital accessibility requirements and avoid costly lawsuits. Business and website owners have the option to choose between automated and manual accessibility testing and remediation.

In this guide, we will focus specifically on the manual approach.

If you want to learn more about ADA compliance in general, you can save this ADA compliance checker article for later.

What is Manual Accessibility Testing?

Accessibility for ecommerce websites

Manual accessibility testing is made up of two steps.

The first step is to perform an ADA compliance audit

There are a number of tools you can use to automate and speed up this process, including AccessibilityChecker.org

However, it is possible to manually check your website for accessibility issues too – it’s just more time-consuming. What’s more, you need to have a fair amount of knowledge on accessibility and what to look out for.

Here are a few of the tests you can run on your site:
  • Use your website or app in conjunction with a screen reader to ensure content is clear and correct when read aloud.
  • Engage with your website or app without speakers and microphones to determine whether the user experience is the same without sound. 
  • Navigate your website using only a keyboard to ensure all content is accessible and that the user experience is good.
  • Watch any embedded media to check the accuracy of closed captions.
  • Evaluate whether any elements on your website flicker or flash unnecessarily, which could trigger seizures in some users.
  • Use your website and app on devices of different sizes and at different resolutions to test usability. 

Once you’ve identified accessibility issues on your site, you can move on to step two, which is to manually fix each of these problems. 

You do have the option to manually test and remediate your website and app yourself, or you could hire an accessibility expert, which is usually the preferred option. Let’s get into that now.

What to Look for When Choosing an Accessibility Expert

A Guide to Google Tag Manager Accessibility

While you could choose an expert who indicates they have experience with web accessibility, ideally, you should find an IAAP-certified expert. 

An IAAP expert will know how to help you achieve WCAG 2.1 at level AA, which is the recommended level for most businesses and websites.

WCAG is the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines, which was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. These guidelines were created to ensure that everyone has equal access to online content, products and services, regardless of ability.

You can read more in this detailed WCAG guide.

Top Manual Accessibility Consultants and Experts

If you would prefer to take a manual approach to accessibility testing, there are a number of consultants and experts available to assist you.

accessiBe

This leading accessibility brand offers an array of solutions. Along with manually auditing your website to identify accessibility gaps in your code, accessiBe can also get a group of disabled users to test your site and rate the experience for full compliance. 

Monsido

Web accessibility is just one of the many expert services that Monsido offers. Once you’ve identified the accessibility issues on your site, the team at Monsido can work with your developers to help you become ADA compliant. 

Siteimprove

Siteimprove is known as one of the most user-friendly accessibility tools available today. Audit your website for free and let the Siteimprove team of experts work with your developers to help you comply with ADA requirements. 

Interactive Accessibility

Interactive Accessibility offers customized Section 508, WCAG 2.0 and ADA compliance services to meet your needs. Their team of experts can help you make your website, web application, documents, and mobile application more accessible to users living with disabilities. 

Applause

The team at Applause believes that a manual approach to testing is the most thorough, which is what they specialize in. Applause offers expert-led assessments against WCAG 2.1, Section 508 and other accessibility guidelines.

Accessibility Works

Following a comprehensive manual Section 508 and ADA compliance audit, the experts at Accessibility Works will provide your team with a detailed report on issues found on your site or app, and show you exactly how to remediate them. You can also sign up for their accessibility training. 

QA Consultants

The experts at QA Consultants can train your team on accessibility, enabling them to manually test and remediate your website and/or app. The other option is to enlist the help of a QA Consultants expert to take care of the auditing and remediation for you, saving you time and a lot of hassle. 

 

Deque

The final agency on this list is Deque, which is well known for its detailed accessibility audits and timely assistance with ADA compliance. Even if your developers are aware of accessibility requirements, it never hurts to have an expert review your site anyway – Deque can help.

accessiBe-small-logoOur top choice: accessiBe
  • WCAG
  • ADA
  • AODA
  • Section 508 Compliant

Get started with your website’s accessibilty with accessiBe’s easy to use features and technology.

Pros

  • Simple, affordable, effortless, and compliant worldwide
  • 7-day free trial
  • Account managers available to guide you through the product, pricing, and any questions you may have
  • Fast turnaround with a 5 min installation, and 48-hour compliance process

Cons

  • Built specifically for websites and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs)- some web apps might not be compatible

Existing Clients

Freelance Accessibility Experts

If you’re not sure you want to hire an agency to assist you with your manual accessibility testing, there is always the option of finding a freelancer.

Here are a few accessibility freelancers we recommend:

  • Will B. Based in St. Louis, Will specializes in Shopify accessibility, general web accessibility, and even document accessibility. 
  • Brittany U. This consultant resides in Fort Worth and is a 5-star rated freelancer who specializes in web and document accessibility. 
  • Paul A. With over 22 years of experience with web development, Paul has an in-depth understanding of accessibility requirements.

How Manual and Automated Accessibility Go Hand-In-Hand

Website accessibility solution

While manual accessibility testing is one of the most thorough ways to approach compliance, it can also take up a lot of your time unnecessarily. This is why most businesses prefer to take a combined approach, using both automated and manual testing to meet WCAG standards.

Deciding which approach is right for you mainly depends on your budget as well as the size of your website. If you’re running a smaller site and don’t have an unlimited budget, it’s perfectly fine to use an automated tool to get the basics right to avoid demand letters and provide a more inclusive experience.

If you are a larger organization that serves an international audience, it might be best to enlist the help of an agency or expert that uses both manual and automated testing to comply. 

Wrapping Up

Whether you choose manual accessibility testing or a more automated approach, web accessibility is an important and worthwhile initiative that every business, big or small, should be participating in. 

The above agencies and freelance experts come highly recommended and will get you one step closer to your compliance goals. 

Find out where you are on your accessibility journey by conducting an audit of your website on Accessibility Checker 

Learn More

Want to learn more about WCGA, ADA, and other compliance considerations? Here are some recommended reads:

Accessibility Checker

Scan your website for accessibility related issues for free

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