Tips & Tricks for Testing Accessibility with Assistive Technologies

There are many ways to perform testing for accessibility, each one with their own strengths and weaknesses. Testing with assistive technologies is a great way to get a clear understanding of how your system behaves for real users – assuming that the tester is able to effectively use the assistive technologies they’re testing with. As a kickoff point, here are some valuable tips and tricks we’ve discovered during our own testing experiences.

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Important change to API2 contract

There is an important, breaking change coming soon to the contract for Version 2 of our Test API that we want to alert users to regarding the callbackUrl parameter.

Per the current documentation, callbackUrl is “(an)URL at which results will be POSTed to when testing has been completed”. Real-world usage shows that this feature could be improved and, while we normally avoid breaking changes, we’ve decided to do so in this case in order to avoid confusion for future users of the API. The following details what will be changed:

  1. The callback will be run twice: when the initial POST is made to the API and when the accessibility testing is complete. (Though not documented, this is happening now)
  2. callbackUrl is going away and will be replaced with callback
  3. callback must be an object. For example:

    "callback": {
        "url": "http://www.foo.com",
        "method": "POST",
        "headers": {
            "X-My-Header": "Value here"
        }
    }
    

  4. callback, if supplied, must be an object. If it isn’t an object, the API will return a 400 response
  5. callback, if supplied, must contain url. All other properties
    are optional
  6. If callback.method is not supplied, it will default to POST
  7. callback.method will support POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE methods.
  8. If Content-Type header is not supplied, we will default it to application/json

If you’re currently using callbackUrl in your API2-consuming code, the only thing you need to change is:

Before:
"callbackUrl": "https://foo.com"
After:
"callback": { 
    "url: "https://foo.com"
}

We anticipate that these changes will be deployed to production in one week, however the timeline depends on changing some of our own existing code for other parts as well in order to support this. To be notified when these changes are deployed to production, give us a shout at talktous@tenon.io

Introducing HTML email testing

If you do email marketing, you know how hard-won each of your email subscribers is. Each email address represents a person who is interested in your product and is either a paying customer or a potential customer. Think of how upset you’d be if you lost 15% of your subscribers instantly. That’s what’s happening when your emails aren’t accessible!

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A11yAMA: Wink Harner

Join us for A11yAMA on March 18 at 11am ET to talk with Wink Harner, professor of assistive technology at CUNY, and executive board member for ATHEN, the Access Technology Higher Education Network.

In this installment of our monthly A11yAMA (Accessibility Ask Me Anything) webinar, Wink will talk about how she benefits from improved accessibility to address her genetic conditions, Brachydactyly-Syndactyly syndrome and unclassified degenerative connective tissue disorder. These comorbid conditions  affect both her manual dexterity and her mobility, but they haven’t stopped her from leading an amazingly rich life.

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