What follows is a rough outline for conducting an accessibility audit for a client.
Strategy and scope
Clarify the goals of the organization requesting the audit.
- Why are they doing the audit?
- What level of accessibility do they want to achieve?
- What level of accessibility is required for them to achieve if any?
- Do they have an accessibility policy? Will developing such a policy be part of the evaluation?
- How much of the site needs to be tested.
Based on the clarifications from the above points, make some recommendations and act on the following tasks.
- Incorporate live users
- Use automated accessibility testing
- Select portions of the site to test and be sure to include:
- Most frequently-used pages
- A variety of pages
- Pages with forms and tables
- Pages generated by the CMS in response to user input
- Information graphics
- Pages with scripts or programs
- Make a list of accessibility checkpoints (based on standards) and create strategies to test for them.
- Make sure the upper management is involved and discuss the importance of involving and educating the staff, especially those who will be responsible for creating and posting content.
Discuss how the findings will be used (fix the site or re-do the site is one possible consideration)
- Provide a report and prioritized, actionable steps for improving the site to the desired level of accessibility
- Include building accessibility into processes for managing the site
- Recommend follow-up audits/schedules
- Consider bigger issues such as whether to fix or to re-do