STAREAST 2024 Concurrent Session : Embracing Accessibility: Adapting to the Human Side of WCAG 2.2 Testing


Thursday, May 2, 2024 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Embracing Accessibility: Adapting to the Human Side of WCAG 2.2 Testing

The slow adoption of accessibility guidelines, particularly Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2, remains a consistent challenge within the software development community. Companies often struggled to integrate accessibility into their DevOps cycles, as compliance necessitated substantial changes in development practices and KPIs. Many auditors tend to test websites reactively, hindering the evolution of understanding and accessibility testing techniques. Recognizing that viewing accessibility guidelines as a growth opportunity can lead to improved products and happier customers, Helen embarked on a journey to unlock the human side of accessibility, integrating it at every stage of the DevOps cycle. In Helen's talk, she will outline how her team adapted a testing framework from WCAG 2.1 to 2.2 without a complete rewrite. The session will explore the rationale behind these updates in alignment with current user needs and emerging technology. Session attendees will gain insights on bridging the gap between WCAG updates and real-world implementation, ensuring accessibility remains at the forefront of product development. They will understand the importance of proactively embracing accessibility as a growth opportunity and learn practical strategies for integrating accessibility seamlessly into the DevOps process. The talk empowers attendees to drive positive change, deliver inclusive products, and stay ahead of compliance shifts.


Helen Burge has worked in accessibility since 2000. Over the past two decades, she has worked in various companies with accessibility at the forefront of her work and currently is the Director of Accessibility at Testlio. Enjoying helping the users have the best experience on all products meant Helen joined the W3C as a volunteer. She is an active member of the Accessibility Conformance Testing Task Force and Community Group, heading the effort to write manual testing rules.