Testing Accessibility throughout the Software Lifecycle


Presented at 4:20pm in Standley I (Adobe Lab) on Thursday, November 21, 2019.



  • Justin Stockton, Senior Accessibility Analyst, The Paciello Group

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Software testing can take on many forms and testing accessibility with the various tools available is just one of these types of tests. Utilizing other methods like unit, integration, and functional testing can make it easier to assert that what is being built is accessible.


Testing accessibility tends to fall to a set of tools such as Axe, WAVE and others which are run manually on a site once the code behind a site has already been written. Software development teams have at their disposal many other types of methods for testing their code. For example unit testing allows a developer to test an individual unit of code to assert that the unit passes all of the tests as expected. Functional, or system, testing allows a developer or QA to regressively test the full functionality of the website or application being tested. This talk will focus on these different methods of testing and provide examples on how to assert accessibility success criteria in each testing method rather than waiting till an accessibility testing tool is manually run in the browser.


  1. Accessibility testing should not be left to the end of the development process.
  2. Testing for accessibility in unit tests is fast and can be run regressively forever
  3. Functional tests are more expensive to run, but can provide accessibility testing to any project.

Disability Areas

Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas


Speaker Bio(s)

Justin Stockton

Justin has been working as a developer focused on building accessible websites since 2001. Over the years his pragmatic approach to building applications led him to Agile and Scrum as a way of eliminating the long nights that often came from waterfall projects.