Automated and manual testing

Automated testing

We currently offer one or a combination of the following automated tools for testing digital content: 

  • WAVE (chrome extension) – this is a free tool which can be downloaded and used for testing by anyone in Digital Services. 
  • SortSite – we have one license in the design team. Requests for an accessibility report can be made. 
  • SilkTide - we have a limited number of site slots we can use at any one time, but we can swap sites for short term testing if needed. 

You can make a request for core corporate websites or applications to be monitored in SilkTide. For all other websites and applications you can request a report is generated from SortSite. Please contact to make a request. 

Automated tools detect less than half of accessibility issues on a page therefore they should be used in conjunction with manual testing and the other testing tools listed below. 

It is the responsibility of the whole team to carry out checks of their work using these tools. 

Colour contrast checkers

WebAIM Colour Contrast Checker

WebAIM Link Colour Contrast Checker

Keyboard only testing

Many users with disabilities will not be able to use a mouse. Developers must ensure that all content on a page is operable with a keyboard. In most browsers, use the Tab key to ensure that all functionality receives visible focus and responds to common key presses (For example Enter, Space).

The tabbing order on the page should be logical. Designers need to make default focus styling clear. Custom widgets, for example chatbots, and cookie consent banners may not be keyboard operable without considerable scripting effort. Testing with a keyboard throughout development will catch these issues.

Assistive technology testing

Applications and websites should be tested with assistive technology. Ideally, a user who uses the assistive technology would perform this testing, but due to budget limitations we rely on testing in the team using the following readers.

Those working on a windows PC can download NVDA (free on Windows) and those on a Mac can use VoiceOver (default on Mac).

Using browser features

Many accessibility checks can be done using features built into your browser. For example, zooming in to 400%, increasing font size to 200%, turning off CSS, resizing your browser window can all be done in browser settings.

Manual testing

Manual checks are the most efficient way to test for accessibility issues with digital content.

We are all responsible for manually checking our work as we go and the following guidance should be followed by content, design, development and nominated user testers in the team.