ReTestBash 2023 Challenges on Accessibility

As the momentum builds towards our ReTestBash UK 2023 event next month, we remain dedicated to deepening our collective knowledge of the topics covered at TestBash UK 2023.

This week, we spotlight three pivotal areas of software testing, and in this post, we’ll focus on accessibility. Drawing from the powerful narratives and insights of @adystokes, @scottkenyon, and @ruinaerlin at TestBash UK, we’ve curated challenges that promise to broaden perspectives and prompt valuable discussions. Dive in, engage, and together, let’s elevate our understanding of accessibility in the tech world.

:wheelchair: Five Accessibility Challenges for the Week:

Pick and choose which challenges you’d like to engage in, post your findings in reply to this post.

  1. Rewatch and Reflect:

    • Accessibility Charters: Rewatch “Accessibility Charters Introduction” with Ady Stokes and Scott Kenyon. Discuss with your team the importance of Charters, particularly the accessibility charter, in promoting software quality.
    • Physical Disabilities in Tech: Rewatch “Physical Disabilities in the Workplace” with Krys Catterall. Reflect on ways to foster an enabling culture in tech and the importance of proactive management.
  2. Poll:
    Following the invaluable sessions from Ady Stokes, Scott Kenyon, and Krys Catterall, we’d love to gauge the community’s sentiment on a few themes.

[Multiple Choice - Choose all that apply]

Which of the following actions or strategies are you most eager to implement or explore further in your organisation?

  • Incorporating Accessibility Charters: Crafting guidelines to ensure inclusive software development.
  • Outreach Programs: Initiating events or training to tap into the untapped potential of persons with disabilities in tech.
  • Adapting HR Policies: Tweaking policies to be more supportive of employees with disabilities.
  • Awareness & Training: Conducting regular sessions to educate teams about the importance of accessibility and inclusivity.
  • Tech Solutions: Using tools and technologies specifically aimed at enhancing accessibility in products.
  • Proactive Recruitment: Adopting hiring practices that actively seek out and welcome candidates with disabilities.
0 voters
  1. Reflections on Accessibility in Your Workplace:

    • How are accessibility concerns addressed in your current projects?
    • Are there proactive recruitment strategies in place for persons with disabilities?
    • Share your thoughts in reply to this post
  2. Team Activities:

    • Creating an Accessibility Charter: Inspired by Ady and Scott’s talk, draft a basic Accessibility Charter for a hypothetical project with your team.
    • Empathy Exercise: Based on Krys’ experiences, role-play a hiring process where one member is a person with a disability. Discuss the good, bad, and ugly experiences from the activity.
    • If you carried out these activities, let us know how you got on in reply to this post.
  3. Deep Dive Challenge:

Accessibility Deep Dive Challenge - Extending Your Empathetic Journey

The “Be More Empathetic” activity curated by Krys Catterall opened our eyes to a more profound understanding of neurodiversities and disabilities. We stepped into another person’s shoes, learning to navigate the world with a heightened sense of empathy. How can we apply this newfound understanding to our realm of software testing, specifically focusing on accessibility?

Objective: Embark on a journey into accessibility testing, integrating the empathy and understanding developed from the previous activity. Engage with real-world applications and contribute your insights to our community forum for collective learning.


Empathize with Your User (10 minutes)

  • Recall the empathy maps and the key takeaways from the “Be More Empathetic” activity. If you didn’t participate in the activity, refer to the original activity.
  • Reflect on the potential challenges these individuals might encounter when using web applications.

Select Your Application (5 minutes)

  • Choose a web application or website you frequent.
  • Use tools like the WAVE - Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool to automatically identify major accessibility issues.

Empathetic Exploration (20 minutes)

  • Navigate your selected site with empathy, imagining yourself in the shoes of your chosen user based on the empathy maps. Mimic the experience of your selected user using any relevant tools or constraints.
    • For example, if focusing on visual impairment, navigate with a screen reader or alter your browser settings to simulate colour blindness.
  • Document any barriers or challenges you experience during this exploration.

Community Contribution (10 minutes)

Document Your Findings: Post a reply on this forum detailing:

  • The disability or neurodiversity you centred on.
  • The application/website you tested.
  • A brief account of your experience and the barriers you encountered.
  • Any differences between your observations and the results from tools like WAVE.
  • Engage: Explore the experiences shared by others, initiate discussions, ask questions, or offer advice.

Reflect and Absorb (5 minutes)

Drawing from the feedback and conversations on the forum, muse over how this exercise might shape your approach and understanding of accessibility.

Key Takeaways:

  • Practical experience deepens our understanding of the real-world issues faced by users from different backgrounds and abilities.
  • While tools can identify technical flaws, human-centred testing can uncover genuine user experience issues.
  • Sharing and collaborating with the community fosters collective growth in our appreciation and advocacy for accessibility.

Why Take Part?

  • Deepen Your Understanding: These challenges are designed to offer hands-on experience and insights. By participating, you’ll deepen your grasp on accessibility, moving beyond theoretical knowledge to practical application.
  • Engage with Experts: As we lead up to ReTestBash UK, participating in these challenges will prime you for the ‘Accessibility, Diversity, and Inclusion Discussion’. This will be a golden opportunity to directly engage with Ady Stokes, Scott Kenyon, Krys Catterall
  • Shape Conversations: Your observations, reflections, and feedback will help shape the conversation during the event. It provides a foundation, helping you ask informed questions and contribute actively to discussions.
  • Empower Your Professional Growth: Embracing these challenges enhances your skillset, making you a more empathetic and effective tester. It equips you with knowledge that can be applied practically in your workplace.
  • Prepare for ReTestBash UK: Familiarize yourself with core themes, ensuring you get the most out of the upcoming discussions. Be in sync with the latest trends and insights in accessibility, diversity, and inclusion.

Join us on the 2nd of November for ReTestBash UK and foster a culture of accessibility!