What is ADA Testing?

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What is ADA Testing?

ADA testing checks whether a website, application or other digital content complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, which aim to ensure equal access to information and services for people with disabilities.

To check if ADA compliance is successfully met, ADA testing typically involves evaluating various aspects such as: 

ADA Testing

This often involves using assistive technologies, automated testing tools, and manual inspection to identify and address any accessibility barriers.

The goal is to ensure equal access to information and services for all users, regardless of their abilities.

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) is a civil rights law in the US that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It advocates inclusiveness by ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to various aspects of public life, including employment, public services, public accommodations and telecommunications.

ADA testing is typically conducted through a combination of: 

  • Automated tools, 
  • Manual inspection, and 
  • User testing.

Different Techniques of ADA Testing

Here’s a brief overview of how ADA compliance is checked:

  • Automated Testing using automated accessibility testing tools to scan the digital content for common accessibility issues, such as missing alternative text for images, improper use of headings, inadequate color contrast, and keyboard navigation issues.
  • Manual Inspection of the digital content to identify accessibility barriers that may not be detected by automated tools. This involves ensuring interactive elements are accessible (and in the right order) via keyboard navigation.
  • Assistive Technology Testing of screen readers, screen magnifiers, and voice recognition software to interact with the digital content from the perspective of users with disabilities. This helps identify any usability issues and ensures compatibility with assistive technologies.
  • User Testing by users with disabilities to check the accessibility and usability of the digital content and provide feedback. This real-world testing helps uncover any accessibility challenges that may have been overlooked during automated and manual testing.

By employing these testing methods in combination, organizations can effectively assess ADA compliance and identify areas for improvement to ensure that their digital content is accessible to all users.

Why is ADA Testing important?

Did you know: 90% of websites are inaccessible to people with disabilities relying on assistive technology. Only 3% of the internet is fully accessible to people with disabilities.

ADA compliance testing is important because it ensures legal adherence, promotes inclusivity, enhances user experience, boosts reputation, and expands market reach by making digital content accessible to individuals with disabilities.

ADA Testing helps businesses with,

  • Larger Target Audience
  • Avoiding Lawsuits and Penalties
  • Establishing Brand Recognition

Larger Target Audience

As of 2021, around 13.5% of the U.S. population had some type of disability. Disability is more common among older individuals, with almost half (46%) of those aged 75 years and older living with a disability.

Disability Statistics US

75% of the disable people in America use Internet, makes ADA compliance for web accessibility essential for the websites to follow.

Avoiding Lawsuits and Penalties

Failure to comply with the ADA may lead to penalties that range from $55,000 to $150,000, as well as legal actions initiated by impacted individuals.

In 2022, Plaintiffs filed 8,694 Title III lawsuits in federal courts, which highlight the need of ADA Testing to avoid lawsuits.

Establishing Brand Recognition

Accessibility efforts signal to users that your brand is trustworthy and values the needs of all its users. Consumers are increasingly valuing businesses that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity. Performing ADA Testing can enhance your brand’s image, fostering a positive perception among customers and the general public.

User Experience 

Accessibility improvements made during ADA Testing often enhance the user experience for all users, not just those with disabilities. Optimizing digital content for accessibility can improve usability, navigation, and overall satisfaction for a broader range of users.

Comprehensive ADA Testing is a good way to avoid Lawsuits, ensure better user experience, enhance brand recognition and improve business growth with a larger target audience.

Who needs to perform ADA Testing?

ADA testing should ideally be conducted by various stakeholders involved in the development and maintenance of digital content, including:

  • Web Developers for creating and coding websites, applications, and other digital content need to ensure that the products they produce meet ADA accessibility standards.
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Teams for testing digital content for ADA compliance. They perform thorough checks to identify accessibility issues and ensure that the final product meets accessibility standards.
  • UX/UI Designers create user interfaces that are intuitive and accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. They should consider accessibility principles during the design phase and collaborate with developers to implement accessible solutions.
  • Content Creators, Writers, and editors need to ensure that text-based content, including articles, documents, and multimedia captions, is accessible to individuals with disabilities.
  • Project Managers oversee the entire development process and ensure that ADA compliance is integrated into project requirements and timelines. They are responsible for prioritizing accessibility and allocating resources for ADA testing.
  • Compliance Officers/Legal Advisors provide guidance on ADA regulations and ensure that digital content complies with relevant laws and standards to avoid any litigations.

What are WCAG requirements for ADA-compliant Website Test?

ADA Title III does not explicitly outline the specific requirements for ensuring website accessibility. Nevertheless, in cases related to ADA violations, U.S. courts commonly refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as the recommended standard that websites should follow. 

WCAG compliance is used as a baseline criterion when performing ADA Testing.

Read More to know about WCAG Compliance and Guidelines in detail

4 Key Principles of WCAG Compliance 

WCAG compliance is based on the 4 Key Principles:

  • P- Perceivable
  • O- Operable
  • U- Understandable
  • R- Robust

Principles of WCAG Accessibility

1. Perceivable

  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content (e.g., images, videos).
  • Provide alternatives for time-based media.
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways without losing meaning.
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content.

2. Operable

  • Ensure that all functionality is available from a keyboard.
  • Provide users enough time to read and use content.
  • Do not use content that causes seizures.
  • Help users navigate and find content.

3. Understandable

  • Make text content readable and understandable.
  • Make web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
  • Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

4. Robust

  • Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

Learn More about Accessibility Testing

WCAG 2.0 has 12 guidelines classified under the 4 key Principles (POUR) discussed above. Each of these guidelines has success criteria defined under them based on the conformance levels. On the other hand, WCAG 2.1 is backward compatible with WCAG 2.0, with 1 additional guideline mentioned below:

1.1Text AlternativesProvide Text Alternatives to different non-text content forms so that it can be used by assistive technology such as screen readers, braille, large print, symbols, or easy language.
1.2Time-based MediaProvide Captions, alternatives or audio descriptions for pre-recorded and live time-based media such as audio or video.
1.3AdaptableCreate content that is adaptable to different forms without losing out on the information or its structure.
1.4DistinguishableMake content easier for the user to see and hear so that they can separate the foreground from the background.
2.1Keyboard AccessibleMake all the functionality of the website accessible from a keyboard without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes.
2.2Enough TimeGive enough time to the users to read and act on the content.
2.3SeizuresContent design should not have anything that flashes more than 3 times to avoid causing seizures due to photosensitivity.
2.4NavigableHelp users navigate through the workflows and webpages, find content, and determine where they are on the website.
2.5Input Modalities
(WCAG 2.1 & WCAG 2.2)
Make it easier for the users to operate functionalities using different inputs apart from the keyboard.
3.1ReadableCreate content that is readable and easy to understand using clear and simple language.
3.2PredictableDesign content and pages in a predictable way, where users can easily predict how to operate.
3.3Input AssitanceHelp users provide correct information and correct mistakes through ways like clear instructions and error prevention techniques.
4.1CompatibleCreate a website with maximum compatibility with the current and future user agents such as browsers, devices, and platforms, including assistive technologies.

To conduct ADA testing, you would evaluate the website against these principles and success criteria, ensuring that it meets the specified criteria for accessibility.

How to perform ADA Testing using BrowserStack Accessibility?

Performing ADA compliance testing using BrowserStack Accessibility involves the following steps:

Need Help? Talk to an Expert

ADA Testing using BrowserStack Accessibility

  • Sign up for BrowserStack
  • Launch BrowserStack Accessibility Toolkit
  • In the Workflow Scanner tile, choose the test scope, i.e. Full Page Scan or Part of the Page. 
  • Choose the required WCAG versions and its conformance level, for example, WCAG 2.0 AA.
  • It scans the website as per the scope to detect any accessibility issues and presents it in the Issue Summary and Workflow Log.
  • Click Save report to save a report of the detected issues. Click Share link to copy the Accessibility Dashboard link to the report. To download the report in CSV format, click Export.

BrowserStack Accessibility Banner

Why prefer BrowserStack Accessibility Testing as an ADA Testing tool?

Here are reasons to prefer BrowserStack Accessibility Testing as an ADA testing tool:

  • Comprehensive Testing: BrowserStack Accessibility Testing provides comprehensive testing capabilities, allowing you to test websites across various browsers, devices, and operating systems. This ensures that your website is accessible to a wide range of users, regardless of their preferred platform.
  • Automated Testing: BrowserStack Accessibility Testing offers automated testing features that allow you to quickly identify accessibility issues and potential barriers to access. This saves time and effort compared to manual testing methods.
  • Simulated Environments: With BrowserStack Accessibility Testing, you can simulate different user environments, including screen readers, keyboard navigation and color contrast settings. This helps you accurately assess accessibility across different user scenarios.
  • Detailed Reports: BrowserStack Accessibility Testing generates detailed reports highlighting accessibility issues detected during testing. These reports provide actionable insights and recommendations for improving ADA compliance.
  • Integration Capabilities: BrowserStack Accessibility Testing seamlessly integrates with popular development and testing tools, such as Jira, Slack, and GitHub.This allows for streamlined collaboration and issue tracking throughout the ADA compliance testing process.
  • Scalability: BrowserStack Accessibility Testing is a scalable solution that can accommodate testing needs for projects of any size, from small websites to large-scale web applications.
  • Real-Time Testing: With BrowserStack Accessibility Testing, you can perform real-time testing and instantly see how changes to your website affect accessibility. This enables quick iteration and refinement of accessibility features.

BrowserStack Accessibility offers a comprehensive, automated, and scalable solution for ADA testing, making it a preferred choice for organizations seeking to ensure accessibility and inclusivity in their digital properties.

Try ADA Testing with BrowserStack Accessibility

Best Practices for ADA Testing 

Here are some best practices for conducting ADA testing efficiently:

  • Familiarize with ADA Guidelines and WCAG standards.
  • Use automated tools for quick issue identification.
  • Conduct manual inspections for nuanced accessibility issues.
  • Test across diverse devices and browsers.
  • Involve users with disabilities for insights.
  • Document findings for efficient issue resolution.
  • Regularly monitor and update accessibility.
  • Provide training on accessibility best practices.
  • Seek expert guidance for a thorough evaluation.
  • Stay informed about evolving accessibility standards.
  • Create workflows that are easy to understand and follow
  • Design Navigation that is easy to use 


ADA testing is essential for ensuring the accessibility of digital content to all users, regardless of abilities. Adhering to ADA guidelines and utilizing tools like BrowserStack Accessibility Testing are crucial. Similarly, WCAG compliance is integral, offering a detailed framework to test accessibility.

By prioritizing accessibility and continuous improvement, businesses can meet legal requirements, enhance reputation, and create an inclusive online environment for all users.

Need to perform ADA Testing for your website?

Check ADA Compliance for your website using Accessibility Testing Tool to create an all-inclusive website that can be accessed by people with disabilities