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Web Content Accessibility Testing: An Essential Guide

By Mohammed Waseem, Community Contributor -

A product is efficient when the users are able to access the fully functional product in its most accessible form. As it was designed by the developers for the audience to be catered to. Although, it is quite easy to just follow specific guidelines and best practices that will make the website accessible to all. Web content accessibility testing ensures that there is nothing left to chance. This article, will help you learn about how to perform web content accessibility testing. 

What is Web Content Accessibility Testing?

Web accessibility issues resonate with hindrances in making accessible resources for all customers regardless of their disabilities. For any web application, it is quite important to make sure that the audience with cognitive, physical, or any other disabilities that restrict them from accessing the application, should be able to convey their services in a similar manner as any other person would do. This makes the website inclusive for all, by aligning with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

For them to achieve this, the web developers must include and adhere to certain guidelines that would help them in their journey towards complete accessibility. Some of the best practices that can be followed in order to ensure complete accessibility are as follows:

  • Following the POUR principles i.e perceivability, Operability, Understandability, and Robustness while designing a web application. 
  • Text Alternatives, Transcripts, Captions, and Navigation accessibility for the audiences specifically to cater to people that may have any cognitive or physical disabilities. 

Let’s take a look at how we can perform web content accessibility testing using python’s robot framework and AXE library integration with Python. 

How to Run Web Content Accessibility Tests 

Follow the below steps to run a simple web content accessibility test using Python:

Step 1: Install the dependencies that will be required to run the test.

You will need to install the following libraries before you can perform the accessibility test. 

To install Selenium in Python use the below command:

pip install selenium 

To install RobotFramework-Selenium use the following command

pip install --upgrade robotframework-seleniumlibrary

To install RobotFramework-AxeLibrary use the following command

pip install robotframework-axelibrary

Step 2: After you’re done installing the dependencies. Write a simple accessibility test using the Robot framework.

Note: Most often, you will encounter an error with the chromedriver that needs to be set in the PATH variable. To avoid this, you can simply download the compatible “chromedriver” and save the same in your project directory to avoid any unprecedented errors. 

Here’s the code for running Web Accessibility Test in Selenium using Python

*** Settings ***
Documentation First Test
Library SeleniumLibrary
Library AxeLibrary
Test Setup Open Browser ${URL} ${BROWSER}
Test Teardown Close All Browsers

*** Variables ***
${BROWSER} Chrome

${XPATH} //*[@id="signin"]

*** Test Cases ***
Login Accessibility Test
[Documentation] Login Page
Wait Until Element Is Enabled ${XPATH}
Sleep 5s
&{results}= Run Accessibility Tests results.json
Log Violations Count: ${results.violations}
Log Readable Accessibility Result violations


Now, Save your code in a .robot file and run the test using the following command in the terminal. 

robot -d results filename.robot

Web Content Accessibility Test Execution

Step 3: Analyze the JSON file generated by the AXE library to find and act upon the accessibility issues that were found in the web content.  You can skip the Test Report, and analyze the Test log, using the log.html file generated in the results directory after the test execution is completed. 

Web Content Accessibility Test Report

Step 4: If you click on All tests, it will open another view for you and will navigate you to a detailed Test Execution Log as shown in the image below. You can check the violations from the info from the report generated from the test. 

Web Content Accessibility Test Log

Now that you know how to perform the accessibility testing, here’s a Quick Website Accessibility Testing Checklist to ensure that all the web content accessibility issues are duly addressed while testing.


More than 10% of the world population have some sort of disability that restricts them to access certain type of content based on cognitive or physical shortcomings. With Web content accessibility testing, the web applications can be presented more efficiently and with utmost precision towards all the audience regardless of any disabilities that might come across as a shortcoming while accessing web content. 

It makes the website more inclusive in terms of the user base ensuring that the web content can accessed by people with disabilities too. As the world moves towards more considerate and empathetic approaches towards customer care and success, accessibility tests are poised to become an essential part of any software development pipeline.

To ensure that the accessibility test runs smoothly under real user conditions, it is recommended to test on real devices. BrowserStack’s Cloud Selenium Grid allows you to run your Web Accessibility Test in Selenium on 3000+ real device-browser combinations taking all the real world conditions into account. 

This includes multiple versions of all major browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, IE and more) as well as thousands of desktop and mobile devices (Android, iOS, Windows). You won’t have to limit your tests with the inadequacies of emulators and simulators.

Run Accessibility Tests on Real Devices

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Accessibility Testing: An Essential Guide

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