Accessibility testing changes lives with Inspired Testing

Friday, 19 January 2024 07:50
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When it comes to accessibility, all too often the truth of the matter is, it’s an afterthought. Yet this is not so at Inspired Testing. This Dynamic Technologies group company is acutely aware of the importance of software testing. They also understand just how vital it is for testers to recognise the complexities of operator and user needs – particularly when it comes to physical challenges and different abilities.

Inspired Testing Director of Sales Bruce Zaayman says, “User experience, issues of accessibility, and inclusivity considerations matter. Our testers understand the full spectrum of operator and passenger needs for testing user interfaces and ensuring safety, satisfaction, and accessibility.”

For persons with disabilities, this type of inclusion is life changing. When everyday actions are inaccessible, or unnecessarily complicated to perform, it has an indelibly negative impact on their ability to go about their daily business. This has an adverse effect on mental and psychological wellbeing and can even have serious physical consequences as well. Inspired Testing knows that comprehensive accessibility testing goes far beyond making things “easier” and paying lip service to “accessibility”.

When it comes to the rail system, this mode of public transport is a vital means of mobility for millions of people across the globe. Inspired Testing has proved their mettle by providing innovative, thorough, and effective software testing for the UK railway system, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Zaayman says, “Our testers goal is to make the entire rail experience user friendly. Accessibility testing is an integral part of software testing in the railway sector. Developers must proactively incorporate accessibility testing into their test cases, ensuring that digital platforms and interfaces are usable by all passengers. This includes testing for screen readers, keyboard navigation, and compatibility with assistive technologies.”

And the positive impact of this testing has not gone unnoticed. Stephen Brookes MBE, rail policy adviser to Disability Rights UK, has strong views on the appropriateness and value of provision and testing of software in the transport sector. He says, “At Disability Rights UK, we are regularly asked to assist with research into the design and implementation of new software operating systems and are generally frustrated by what we see as key failings in the process due to the lack of software testing expertise, the complexity of systems integration and shaky customer facing consistency in the user applications in the transport industry.”

He adds, “For example there is a general lack of understanding of the complexity faced by various disabilities in the use of Ticket Vending Machines which, while using similar software, fails at delivery point by inconsistent matched testing of hardware which fails those with sensory, dexterity, and learning disabilities.”

For the railway indiustry, accessibility testing is a vital and timely step in the right direction. It fulfils legal obligations of the railway industry, demonstrates a commitment to providing equitable services for all passengers, and has a measurable effect on the lives of those living with disabilities.