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Accessibility Testing Requirements – Perceivable – Time-based Media

Posted by Albert Gareev on Sep 25, 2014 | Categories: AccessibilityReviews

In the series of reviews I’m looking at WCAG level A / AA (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) requirements from testing perspective.

Common Definitions

Human Testing

  • Brief – “You know as you see it” – quick scanning is sufficient to check and make a judgment. This does not include effort of logging defects.
  • Detailed – Either interaction (execution of tests) with the functionality is necessary or detailed review/analysis must be done in order to verify a requirement.

Tool-Assisted Checking

  • Not Available – Tools cannot help in checking for the specified requirement or they help very insignificantly.
  • Partial – Tools provide significant help in checking for the specified requirement, either by saving time in parsing content source or through visualization. Human does the verification and judgment.
  • Full – Tools capable of locating and verifying the specified requirement. Brief review of checking results is sufficient to make a judgment.

Perceivable – Time-based Media

Provide alternatives for time-based media.  If the audio or video is designated as an alternative to web content (e.g., an audio or sign language version of a web page, for example), then the web content itself serves as the alternative.

Tools provide little help here.

QA can perform testing identifying presence/absence of alternatives, and common-sense assessment of alternate content.

Detailed review of a person with domain knowledge is required to make sure that alternative content is fully relevant and descriptive.

Prerecorded Audio-only

A descriptive text transcript (including all relevant visual and auditory clues and indicators) is provided for non-live, web-based audio (audio podcasts, MP3 files, etc.).

Human Testing – Detailed

Tool-Assisted Checking – Not available

Descriptive text transcript must be reviewed by a specialist with domain knowledge. Text transcript is also a subject for testing for accessibility with cognitive impairment.

Prerecorded Video-only

A text or audio description is provided for non-live, web-based video-only (e.g., video that has no audio track).

Human Testing – Detailed

Tool-Assisted Checking – Not available

Text or audio description must be reviewed by a specialist with domain knowledge. Text transcript is also a subject for testing for accessibility with cognitive impairment.

Captions (Prerecorded)

Synchronized captions are provided for non-live, web-based video (YouTube videos, etc.)

Human Testing – Detailed

Tool-Assisted Checking – Not available

Captions must be reviewed by a specialist with domain knowledge.

Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

A descriptive text transcript OR audio description audio track is provided for non-live, web-based video.

Human Testing – Detailed

Tool-Assisted Checking – Not available

Text or audio description must be reviewed by a specialist with domain knowledge.

Captions (Live)

Synchronized captions are provided for all live multimedia that contains audio (audio-only broadcasts, web casts, video conferences, Flash animations, etc.)

Human Testing – Detailed

Tool-Assisted Checking – Not available

As this is live content, presumably created “on the fly”, testing of recorded versions won’t help much. Rather, this accessibility feature must be done by an experienced professional. Testing may help to verify the setup and delivery of live captions.


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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
This work by Albert Gareev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.