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User Testing with People with Disabilities

Proposal No: 241

Bios & Handouts


Disability Area:          

Topic Area:                

Length of Session (in hours): 1Format: Lecture Expertise Level: BeginnerType of session: General Conference

Summary of Session

Learn best practices, tips and tricks to usability testing with people with disabilities.


A website can be accessible when evaluated against Section 508 or the WCAG 2.0 guidelines yet be difficult to use for people with disabilities. Usability testing that includes people with disabilities will help help to uncover accessibility and usability issues of a site. This session will provide guidance on incorporating people with disabilities into your user testing both in a usability lab and remotely. Topics will include the following: remote vs. lab testing, when to test, should you test with people without disabilities first, testing considerations and accommodation, interacting with testers, testing process, tips and tricks, and best practices for evaluating results.


  1. The difference between accessibility and usability
  2. How to apply user testing techniques to testing with people with disabilities
  3. Tips and techniques for the testing process

Speaker Bio(s)

Kathleen Wahlbin

Kathy Wahlbin is a digital accessibility expert and general manager of The Paciello Group; she has been working in the field of accessibility since 2001. As an invited expert of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, W3C Mobile Accessibility Task Force, and the WCAG 2.0 Evaluation Methodology Task Force, she regularly contributes to the development of new accessibility standards, guidelines, techniques and methodologies.