universal-design-center

Basic Accessibility Evaluations: 4 Questions

Basic accessibility techniques are simplified evaluation mechanisms to determine whether or not accessibility is addressed in the product being evaluated. Basic evaluations are designed to educate those who are new to accessibility about potential problems an inaccessible product could present. They do not represent a full accessibility review.  Most basic evaluation techniques can be used to evaluate the various types of information technology products such as web, applications, software, and operating systems. 

 What is the Four-Point Accessibility Evaluation? 

The most basic accessibility evaluation that anyone can conduct is the Four Point Accessibility Evaluation . This evaluation is meant to introduce the reviewer to accessibility. The Four-Point accessibility questions are described below. Reviewers should spend at least 1 to 2 hrs answering these questions.

Question 1: Is the font styling easy to read? Is the text easy to read? 

Explanation: If the text displayed on the page is difficult to read, this could be a problem for individuals with various visual impairments. Is the color used in the software or online product difficult to read? Visit Color Contrast page.

Question 2: Is the font color easy to read? Can you read the text clearly against the background? Does color mean anything that isn’t conveyed another way, for example, error messages in red?

Explanation: If the color displayed is difficult to see, there may be a problem with the color combinations used on the page. The color combinations used on the page may cause individuals with visual impairments difficulties in understanding information on the page.  Visit Color Contrast page.

Question 3: Can a user "tab" through the functions to navigate to all the button, links, form fields, and features on the page/screen?

Explanation: For this test, you are looking to verify that all functions on the page can be accessed without using the computer mouse. For individuals with physical impairments, it is critical that information can be accessed through other methods instead of the mouse. Visit Keyboard Accessibility page. 

Question 4: Can a user make the font bigger without distorting the text? Use “Ctrl +” and “Ctrl -” on a keyboard, or the accessibility features or gestures on your mobile device.

Explanation: When you make the screen smaller or larger (scaled up to 200%), the text on the screen should continue to be displayed without it being cut off or partially visible. Visit Semantic Requirements Resizable Text and W3C Resize Text.

Universal Design Perspectives contain videos created by W3C that demonstrate different ways universal design and accessibility affects everyone. They illustrate how people with disabilities, learning styles, and preferences benefit from accessibility and universal design in their everyday life.