skip to main contentskip to main menuskip to footer Universität Bielefeld Play Search
  • Accessibility Services (ZAB)

    Logo der ZAB, bunte Kreise mit Schriftzug Zentrale Anlaufstelle Barrierefrei
    White keyboard
    © ZAB - Bielefeld University

Testing documents for accessibility

Switch to main content of the section

Request a test

The ZAB tests websites, web applications and documents for accessibility. Employees and institutions of Bielefeld University can request this kind of accessibility test via the support form.

Under the following points, you can read about our test process and the tools that we use to test accessibility. If you require more extensive testing, then please contact us in advance so that we can clarify what is currently possible.  

Process

PAC Testsoftware Screenshot
© ZAB - Universität Bielefeld

Testing websites, web applications, documents and software for accessibility is a challenge that cannot be met lightly. Proper testing requires a structured approach, which is set out here.

The BITV test, for example, is a structured test for accessibility that draws on the internationally recognised WCAG criteria. The BITV test is based on the Barrier-Free Information Technology Ordinance (BITV 2.0) of 21 May 2019, which means that the test incorporates the new requirements of WCAG 2.1.

The Central Accessibility Services (ZAB) of Bielefeld University has a procedure that uses both manual and automated methods of testing, which are based on the WCAG criteria. As a first step, we carry out the test methods listed below and report the results back to the client. We will only compile a detailed formal report that encompasses all WCAG criteria if explicitly requested to do so. This can only be requested once the general accessibility test we offer has been completed and after you have eliminated the errors found in it as far as is possible.

Testing

Testing with WAVE - Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

WAVE is a browser extension for Chrome that quickly evaluates a webpage for accessibility, highlighting any errors with icons, offering numerous hints as well as a tab to view the code. When the webpage is opened, WAVE is activated via the extension icon in the menu bar.

(https://wave.webaim.org)

Download extension in Chrome

At ZAB we test your webpage according to established criteria for accessibility and give you feedback and information on how to improve it. In addition, you are also welcome to download the WAVE extension yourself in Chrome, and so get an impression of any accessibility errors on your page. In this way, you can assess how many errors are currently on your page and whether your page is, in fact, already accessible. You can also use WAVE to test newly created pages for accessibility before publication, so that you can identify and remove any accessibility issues yourself if you want to. This possibility is optional and is not meant to replace the test that the ZAB can carry out for you.

When we test your page, you will receive a support ticket where we will list all the accessibility issues we have found with instructions on how to improve them. If necessary, we will provide links to further guidance on our webpages: https://www.uni-bielefeld.de/einrichtungen/zab/digitale-barrierefreiheit/barrierefreie-webseiten/barrieren-a-z/

 

Test with Siteimprove

Siteimprove can be used as an extension for Chrome or the test can be carried out by using the Siteimprove web application.

Download extension in Chrome

As with WAVE, you can also download the extensive for Chrome and use Siteimprove to get an impression of how accessible your page is.

(Login in Siteimprove: my2.siteimprove.com)

How the ZAB tests your page using Siteimprove : We will identify any accessibility issues with levels of compliance according to the WCAG criteria. We review the hints given by Siteimprove and include them on the support ticket that we send you. We will also provide information on how to improve the accessibility issues. If necessary we will also include links to our webpages for further guidance: https://www.uni-bielefeld.de/einrichtungen/zab/digitale-barrierefreiheit/barrierefreie-webseiten/barrieren-a-z/

Test using Colour Contrast Analyser or Contrast Checker

For the most part, Siteimprove and Wave will flag up any problems with poor contrast on a webpage. To obtain a more in-depth analysis of any contrast errors or to double-check,  another tool we use is the Color Contrast Analyser.

You can also download and try out this software to test contrast in Windows and MacOS here.

Alternative: Contrast Checker

Testing for behaviour in different screen readers

Testing the behaviour of screen readers is generally much more time-consuming than carrying out automated tests. This is because the pages need to be manually checked from top to bottom, and any individual errors identified and noted. Only in exceptional circumstances will we create a screencast of NDVA (screen reader for Windows), to demonstrate instances where the screen reader has misinterpreted the information .

Note: It is not possible to test a website for accessibility by using just one type of screen reader. This is because screen readers differ significantly in how they interpret information and in other details. For a webpage to pass the accessibility test, the screen readers listed below should all be able to read out a page correctly and in full without any problems.

Test using VoiceOver Mac, ipad, iphone

In the iPad or iPhone, you can activate the VoiceOver function via 'Settings', ‘Accessibility’. Please note, when activated, it will change the gestures used to control your phone. When you open the website in Safari browser, for example, you will need to swipe right with your finger to jump through the individual page sections.

VoiceOver – User Guide

Test using NDVA (Windows program)

You can only use NDVA on the Windows operating system. However, it is easy to install and run. Its operation is somewhat complicated so it is important to first familiarise yourself with the program. Have the page read to you section by section, as you did with the VoiceOver screen reader in MacOS. Note down any missing sections.

A good guide to using NDVA is available on the pages of ‘Einfach für Alle’ (Simply for all).

WCAG test / BITV test

We will only compile a detailed formal report that encompasses all WCAG criteria if explicitly requested to do so. This can only be requested once the general accessibility test we offer has been completed and after you have eliminated the errors found in it as far as is possible.

Legal / Guidelines

The Barrier-Free Information Technology Ordinance of North Rhine-Westphalia – BITV NRW and the Equal Opportunities Act for Disabled Persons of North Rhine-Westphalia Act - BGG NRW are the obligatory and legal basis for universities in NRW. In the BITV NRW, one basis is the current state of technological development and another is compliance with Directive (EU) 2016/2102, which is based on the EU standard EN 301 549 (PDF) as a specified EU standard.

The following four principles must always be observed when creating accessible documents and websites:

  1. Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
  2. User interface components and navigation must be operable.
  3. Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
  4. Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

A good overview of these guidelines can be found in the WCAG visual map linked here.

On the following page you will find further tips on how to create accessible content:

https://www.uni-bielefeld.de/einrichtungen/zab/digitale-barrierefreiheit/barrierefreie-webseiten/barrieren-a-z/

 

Testing documents

Legally relevant for PDF documents is the PDF/UA standard as well as the EU standard 301 549, which primarily refers to the WCAG 2.1 AA. In addition, the Matterhorn Protocol promotes this standard, amongst other things, by defining whether criteria can be approved by a machine or with human expertise. Below, you will find a more detailed description of the tests that can be carried out by means of the various programmes and protocols.

Testing with Adobe Acrobat DC Pro

With Adobe Acrobat DC , documents can be tested for accessibility in the Pro version. The Accessibility tool can be found in the right-hand tool bar. When you use it for the first time, you will need to add the Accessibility tool to your toolbar by clicking the Tools Tab and clicking the Add button on the Accessibility tool. This can be used to carry out an accessibility check, where various errors can be identified. In addition, you can check via the tags symbol (last symbol in the left bar) whether the document contains correct tags that correspond to the content. For example, an H1 or H2 tag would be correct for a heading, but it would be wrong if headings were also marked as a paragraph with a <p> tag.

Testing with the PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 3)

The PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 3) is a Windows programme that was explicitly developed for testing documents for accessibility. It tests against the machine-verifiable success criteria of the PDF/UA standard as well as WCAG 2.1 according to the AA standard.

Testing with screen readers

Tests are carried out by testing the documents manually with different screen readers. (please visit web pages/web applications)

Testing using the Matterhorn Protocol

The checkpoints marked as "H" (human)  in the Matterhorn protocol under the heading "How" must be reviewed manually. Most or all of the accessibility errors will normally be found by manual testing with the screen readers. At the end of these tests, you should go once through the protocol. If there is a checkpoint that should be checked manually, but has not yet been tested, it should be checked again with a screen reader.

WCAG Test / BITV Test

We will only compile a detailed formal report that encompasses all WCAG criteria if explicitly requested to do so. This can only be requested once the general accessibility test we offer has been completed and after you have eliminated the errors found in it as far as is possible.

Legal requirements

The Barrier-Free Information Technology Ordinance of North Rhine-Westphalia – BITV NRW and the Equal Opportunities for Disabled Persons Act of North Rhine-Westphalia - BGG NRW are the obligatory and legal basis for universities in NRW. In the BITV NRW, one basis is the current state of technological development and another is compliance with Directive (EU) 2016/2102, which is based on the EU standard EN 301 549 (PDF) as a specified EU standard.

All PDF documents are tested according to the criteria of the Matterhorn Protocol, which provides a table of checkpoints corresponding with the PDF/UA (PDF Universal Accessibility) ISO standard. The PDF/UA is based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG 2.0 and is largely in line with it.

All other types of documents are tested according to the current WCAG criteria, currently WCAG 2.1.

The following four principles must always be observed when creating accessible documents and websites:

  • Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
  • User interface components and navigation must be operable.
  • Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
  • Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

A good overview is provided by the WCAG map linked here.

 

back to top