WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Proposal for an online, crowdsourced accessibility testing platform


From: Tim Harshbarger
Date: Aug 25, 2010 7:09AM


I think this is a good idea. I might be willing to assist.

We would probably want to capture information on why someone felt
something was more or less accessible.

I am also wondering if there might be ways to capture performance
information as well. The fact is user comments are likely to provide a
lot of preference information and maybe not much performance
information. I find I am also interested in knowing things like which
approach allows the user to complete a task quicker and which approach
is less likely to introduce errors into the user's ability to complete
the task.

It may also be possible to use a site like this to provide information
on how well specific versions of AT support accessibility features.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Chris Hoffman
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 9:44 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] Proposal for an online,crowdsourced accessibility
testing platform

Hello everyone,

I've been reading this list for several years now, and it's been hard
not to notice that many, if not most, of the questions posed are of
the form, "Is writing HTML like such-and-such accessible?" or "What is
the most accessible way to put X on my web page?"

It has also become apparent, time and again, that although there are
many ways to increase the accessibility of content online, such as
adhering to WCAG guidelines or using online accessibility checkers
like WAVE or Cynthia Says, the only way to _really_ ensure that
content is accessible is to test it with actual people with actual
disabilities who are using actual assistive technology. That is, a web
page that passes all of the automated accessibility checks and adheres
to accessibility standards is not accessible unless it can be used by
real people.

To that end, I have had the following idea rolling around in my head
for quite a while: Why not create a site that presents pairs of
alternative HTML snippets and asks users out in the universe whether
each one is more of less accessible? Visitors could (anonymously)
record their choices ("A is slightly more accessible than B"), as well
as any specific notes and the assistive technology they were using,
and the resulting data could be made available to web designers and

My first question is, does anything like this (namely, open A/B
testing for accessibility) already exist?
The second is, regardless of the answer to the first question, whether
there is anyone on this list who would be interested in collaborating
on such a project?

I'm taking it as a given that there are lots of questions that would
need to be answered to make this actually work, but for now am taking
the initial step of getting it out of my head and into the open.

Thanks & regards,