Testing is an important part of making your application accessible to users with varying abilities. Following design and development guidelines for accessibility are important steps toward that goal, but testing for accessibility can uncover problems with user interaction that are not obvious during design and development.
This accessibility testing checklist guides you through the important aspects of accessibility testing, including overall goals, required testing steps, recommended testing and special considerations. This document also discusses how to enable accessibility features on Android devices for testing purposes.
Your accessibility testing should have the following, high level goals:
The following tests must be completed in order to ensure a minimum level of application accessibility.
Note: Keyboards and D-pads provide different navigation paths than accessibility gestures. While gestures allow users to focus on nearly any on-screen content, keyboard and D-pad navigation only allow focus on input fields and buttons.
Notification, haptic feedback (if available) or another visual alert.
The following tests are recommended for ensuring the accessibility of your application. If you do not test these items, it may impact the overall accessibility and quality of your application.
The following list describes specific situations that should be tested to ensure an accessible app. Some, none or all of the cases described here may apply to your application. Be sure to review this list to find out if these special cases apply and take appropriate action.
Testing of accessibility features such as TalkBack, Explore by Touch and accessibility Gestures requires setup of your testing device. This section describes how to enable these features for accessibility testing.
Audible accessibility feedback features on Android devices provide audio prompts that speaks the screen content as you move around an application. By enabling these features on an Android device, you can test the experience of users with blindness or low-vision using your application.
Audible feedback for users on Android is typically provided by TalkBack accessibility service and the Explore by Touch system feature. The TalkBack accessibility service comes preinstalled on most Android devices and can also be downloaded for free from Google Play.
The TalkBack accessibility service works by speaking the contents of user interface controls as the user moves focus onto controls. This service should be enabled as part of testing focus navigation and audible prompts.
To enable the TalkBack accessibility service:
Note: While TalkBack is the most available Android accessibility service for users with disabilities, other accessibility services are available and may be installed by users.
For more information about using TalkBack, see TalkBack.
The Explore by Touch system feature is available on devices running Android 4.0 and later, and works by enabling a special accessibility mode that allows users to drag a finger around the interface of an application and hear the contents of the screen spoken. This feature does not require screen elements to be focused using an directional controller, but listens for hover events over user interface controls.
To enable Explore by Touch:
Note: On Android 4.1 (API Level 16) and higher, the system provides a popup message to enable Explore by Touch. On older versions, you must follow the step below.
Note: You must turn on TalkBack first, otherwise this option is not available.
For more information about using the Explore by Touch features, see Touch Exploration.
Focus navigation is the use of directional controls to navigate between the individual user interface elements of an application in order to operate it. Users with limited vision or limited manual dexterity often use this mode of navigation instead of touch navigation. As part of accessibility testing, you should verify that your application can be operated using only directional controls.
You can test navigation of your application using only focus controls, even if your test devices does not have a directional controller. The Android Emulator provides a simulated directional controller that you can use to test navigation. You can also use a software-based directional controller, such as the one provided by the Eyes-Free Keyboard to simulate use of a D-pad on a test device that does not have a physical D-pad.
Gesture navigation is an accessibility navigation mode that allows users to navigate Android devices and applications using specific gestures. This navigation mode is available on Android 4.1 (API Level 16) and higher.
Note: Accessibility gestures provide a different navigation path than keyboards and D-pads. While gestures allow users to focus on nearly any on-screen content, keyboard and D-pad navigation only allow focus on input fields and buttons.
To enable gesture navigation:
For more information about using Explore by Touch accessibility gestures, see Touch Exploration.
Note: Accessibility services other than TalkBack may map accessibility gestures to different user actions. If gestures are not producing the expected actions during testing, try disabling other accessibility services before proceeding.