How easy is it for a blind person using a screenreader to access your site?
Screenreader usability testing

Why is accessibility important?

A lack of accessibility can lead to potential customers being prevented from accessing your site, purchasing goods and services, or gaining full access to the information you provide.

Being able to access goods, services and information online has revolutionised the way that people with disabilities live their lives, enabling far more independence and less reliance on others. Here are some reasons why accessibility is important:

  • A lack of accessibility could send potential customers elsewhere. If someone is unable to use your site, they are likely to leave and find a competitor who meets their access requirements.
  • Accessible web design is good for SEO – basic good practices such as the use of headings and the labelling of images can contribute to better ranking in search engines.
  • Publicity – good website design in terms of accessibility is not something that screenreader users can automatically rely on, so people tend to share their positive experiences, thus giving the site free publicity. Of course the opposite is also true.
  • Many people with a visual impairment will not have access to visual advertising methods, such as printed materials, so your website may be the first time that they encounter your business. If they have a positive experience, they are more likely to return.
  • Many people with a visual impairment choose to shop or book services online as there are no physical barriers as there may be if they had to locate a physical shop or travel to a service provider.
  • It’s a legal requirement under the Equality Act
  • Scope

    Screenreader usability reports from EwK Services focus on a site in terms of its accessibility and usability to a blind user working with screenreading software (in this case JAWS – Job Access with Speech), and NVDA, an open source screenreader. JAWS has been found to be the most popular screenreader for Windows, and whilst there is other software on the market that is not featured in this report, issues identified for JAWS and NVDA users are likely to affect those working with other software as well. The site is also tested using a mobile device and VoiceOver, the in-built screenreader in Apple products.

    Whilst there are tests online that highlight accessibility issues, this does not necessarily reflect the experience of people with disabilities who use accessibility software such as screenreaders in their everyday lives. Similarly, whilst it is possible to download demonstration versions of speech software, this will not reflect the experience of a proficient user who is familiar with all the keystrokes and used to navigating sites without the use of a mouse or visual input.

    My accessibility audit report will give you an understanding of a visit to your site from the perspective of a screenreader user, highlighting any difficulties experienced by someone who cannot access visual information (such as unlabelled graphics), and who accesses websites without the use of a mouse.

    These reports focus primarily on usability with a screenreader and are not WCAG audits.

    Report contents

    The final report will cover the following questions:

    1. How easy was it to find information on the site for someone who cannot see graphics or use a mouse to access page elements?
    2. How well were products/services described? Could someone without the ability to see pictures know exactly what they were purchasing?
    3. How easy was it to put things in the basket/select relevant services/progress through the site with only keyboard navigation?
    4. How well were buttons, images, links and page elements labelled?
    5. Could all controls be activated without a mouse?
    6. How easy was it to set up an account/pay for the goods?
    7. Could all reasonable tasks be completed independently, without sighted help?
    8. Was there anything on the site that was distracting, such as constantly refreshing text or automatic videos or sound files that would prevent a screenreader user from being able to hear what was on the site and thus access the information?
    9. What was the experience like on a mobile device? Were there any difficulties that were not present on the desktop site test?
    10. Overall how good was the user experience for a screenreader user?
    11. How accessible were the brand’s other social media profiles, newsletters, or other communications?
    12. Is there anything else that could be improved or made more accessible?

    Cost and contents

    What you pay depends on what you want. I’m happy to discuss the options before you make your decision.

    Service Price
    Initial 60-minute consultation with bloggers or businesses to discuss website accessibility, making the site or customer experience more accessible to blind people. Includes a written summary of recommendations. £30
    Recorded user testing of the site using a laptop and JAWS. Completing tasks identified by you. Recording of the session so you can follow along on-screen and listen to my commentary explaining what I am doing and what issues I encountered. £50
    User testing of the site on an iPhone using VoiceOver. Written document describing how easy it was to complete the tasks set by you, and any problems encountered. £25
    Face-to-face meeting – to go through your site and make recommendations about any accessibility issues (subject to availability and dependent on location). £85
    App testing – using VoiceOver on an iPhone. Written report describing user experience and any problems encountered. £30
    Written website testing report addressing the questions listed above and covering the main issues faced by screenreader users using a keyboard £40

    An invoice will be provided. Payment can be made by bank transfer or Paypal. Customers outside of the UK are asked to pay via Paypal.

    If you have multiple sites to test, each one will be tested separately, but there is a 20% discount off the price of the 2nd and any additional sites.

    Any sites that are particularly large or complex may incur additional charges, but this will be made clear at the consultation stage.

    Would you like to know more?

    If you’d like to know more about the service or to request a quote, you can get in touch with me using my contact form: