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H810 – Approaches

November 17, 2010

Our course material indentified four appraches how accessibility can be evaluated.

  1. testing with disabled users.
  2. testing with accessibility experts.
  3. assessing conformance to checklists/guidelines, including the use of automated checkers.
  4. testing with assistive technology (AT).

Testing with disabled users has the advantage of getting first-hand feedback from disabled users, but can be costly and time consuming to arrange. Experts can provide feedback from the perspective of all the disability groups, thus a much broader approach, but one that can also be costly.

The two last approaches are more appropriate for teachers, designers and developers who might have no access to users or experts.

In my role as teacher, in a school that normally host no disabled students (this year with have on student out of almost 1800 students), my approaches are pretty limited. I could go for approach 3, although the questions would be which tool am I going to use, and would I be able to interpret the results, approach 4 would only work with the accessibility tools provided by Microsoft windows as I have not other tool so far. Approach 1 and 2 are not applicable due to the lack of disabled students and experts.

I am not familiar with other approaches and I doubt that I would find someone in my school who could be from help.

For an organisation like the OU, I would suggest to apply a mixture of all four approaches, though I am not sure if this is not to costly and time-consuming to achieve.

Well, nothing much to say here sad.

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