The Risks of Skipping Software Accessibility Testing

QANTUM
3 min readJan 4, 2023
Photo by Elizabeth Woolner on Unsplash

If you haven’t included Accessibility testing in your Software Development Cycle, don’t waste any more time. Contrary to what you might believe, investing in developing accessible products from the start can save you a lot of time, and money and could even save you from a possible lawsuit. It’s no secret that with the rise of technology, people rely on their devices for their day-to-day tasks. Given this fact, all people must have access to the services and facilities technology provides, even if people have disabilities. So either if you are developing a mobile app, a tv app, or a website you must understand how to test the accessibility of your products.

When thinking of tech accessibility you might believe that blindness is the only disability to be concerned about. However, there are plenty of more disabilities that affect tech users such as partial sightedness, color blindness, dyslexia, arthritic, and other mobility impairments. When considering all these disabilities the number of users that need special features to use your software largely increases, making it a worthy investment. Just imagine, more than 300 million people in the world suffer from a color vision deficiency. In the United States alone, 18.7% of the population has a disability. With so many potential users that can benefit from accessibility work, then comes a really important question: How can you be sure you are developing accessible software? Well, some guidelines help you do it.

A really important part of testing is making sure that the work you are doing is complying with all laws and regulations applicable to the country you are located in. For example, if you are based in the United States, ADA and 508 are the most important laws you should keep a close eye on for accessibility matters. These are civil rights and federal laws that prohibit the discrimination of people with disabilities in all areas of life, including the use of electronics.

In 2018 there were 2314 cases of lawsuits related to digital accessibility issues. On the other hand, in 2022, there are almost 100 ADA-based digital lawsuits per week, giving an approximate total of 4455 by the end of this year. That’s almost a 50% increment in cases in just 6 years, which means accessibility is not something you should be taking up lightly. A lawsuit could imply a lot of money lost but also a lot of time. If you lose one of these lawsuits you are going to be required to redesign, rebuild and restructure your projects to meet all accessibility requirements. And you guessed right, this is a lot harder than implementing the guidelines from the start. Why go through all of that trouble?

If you want to develop accessible software you should be familiar with accessibility guidelines such as the WCAG. The WCAG is a series of guidelines for improving web and mobile content so that it is accessible to users with disabilities. In these guidelines, you will find everything you need to know. You can learn about the proper color contrasts your software needs, the fonts, sizes, and spaces recommended, and even how the screen readers should work to effectively meet the disabled user’s expectations. The best and only way to ensure you are doing it right is by testing it. Having a QA team familiar with all accessibility guidelines and regulations will boost your projects and you can be sure that your users with disabilities will be able to efficiently use your products. And for that, you can rely on the expertise in accessibility matters of the QANTUM Consulting team. With years of experience in the field and a certified team, you can sleep soundly knowing that with QANTUM you are never going to wake up with an ADA lawsuit.

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QANTUM

Pioneers on providing QAaaS to the Software Industry