Sudar Accessibility UK
Website, software and mobile-app accessibility testing by a UK based experienced screenreader user.
- Can it be used by a blind person?
- Do you want to see how an experienced blind user would get on using your product?
- If you have a website, is it accessible? Can your content be read and indexed by the Googlebot (effectively a blind user)? Does it the legal meet WCAG AA / AAA standards?
Have you ever seen a blind person using computers?
Many of the accessibility testing tools, and even professional accessibility testing services make recommendations based on checklists, without actually understanding and having experience of using the service being tested as a blind individual. I am different, as a UK based blind IT professional, I can test websites, software applications, and mobile apps, across a range of platforms, and work with you, to improve the accessibility of your products and services. I can produce one big report, with recommendations, or I can work with you in a very collaborative way to continually improve the accessibility of your developments. I can work remotely or in an office based environment.
I am a blind user, and use a range of screenreaders, across multi devices.
What is a screen reader? A screen reader is piece of software loaded on to an electronic device that reads the content of a screen via text to speech or braille output so a blind person can be aware of what is presented on the screen of their device. This is a very rough definition as screen readers can interact with certain APIs so they can even read things that may not visible on the screen, but exist in the background.
However, in order for screenreaders to interact properly with a website or a piece of software, accessibility features of the development platform need to be utilised. Often introducing accessibility improvements can be quick, easy, straightforward and therefore cheap, and the learning gained by developers, will help making future product more accessible in the first place.
Why is it important to have an accessible website, software or mobile application?
There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss. This figure includes around 360,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted in the UK, who have severe and irreversible sight loss.
Access Economics, 2009
- Legal information: It is the law.
- Return on your investment: Accessibility improvements give more people access, increase ROI. In addition for websites, this also improves the ability for the Googlebot to index your content.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: It is the right thing to do.
How can improved accessibility improve my ROI?
For one, if you are a commercial organisation, extra users, mean more potential profit. Whether you work at an international or a local level, the number of potential customers you could gain by your websites and/or services being accessible, results in an overall good return on investment. The amount of time and money you would need to spend to make sure that your website or software is accessible is insignificant compared to number of customers you may gain. Just in a local shop or a restaurant, you wouldn’t turn away a customer just because they’re blind. Sure you might need to spend a bit of extra time reading those parts of the menu or getting them help to get to what they need, but you still gained a sale.
Can’t I just following the accessibility guidelines?
There are plenty of accessibility guidelines, guidelines on how to make your IOS, Android or web application accessible, but even once the product is finished, there could be a few issues that you may not be aware of, as you can’t test in the same way an experienced screenreader user can test. That is where I come in.
Having been blind since birth, and have been using computers and been involved in assistive technology since 1996. I have used many screen readers including jaws, windows eyes, NVDA, and am very competent user of Apple’s iOS VoiceOver and Android’s Talkback systems.
I have undertaken website and software accessibility testing for end-clients including Royal Mail, FIFA, BT and various government departments including the NHS. So if you would like to make sure that your website or software is accessible, please contact me today.
This work can be done in person, if you are based in London / South East England. I would be very willing to visit your premises and work in your office. We can also work via e-mail, or phone/VOIP so no matter where in the world you are, I can help.