South Carolina Web Testers Program

The South Carolina Assistive Technology Program is working with the SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee, under the S.C. State Budget & Control Board, to train people who use assistive technology and those who don't, in the evaluation of state agency web pages for accessibility and usability. We completed a Web Testers Pilot Program in August 2009. Since then we've moved on with the program and have evaluated other state agency web sites. We have a unique approach, and the program changes as we try different methods of using real people to test real web pages.

Read an article about ATAC and the Web Testers in the AT Program News.

We train web testers to evaluate pages using a variety of tools to respond to an accessibility/usability questionnaire (Word), which changes to keep up with the latest technology, resources and accessibility laws/standards. Testers from throughout South Carolina and neighboring states have used screen readers, screen enlargers, voice-activated software, and other alternative access technology to evaluate web sites for a variety of state agencies and other entities. We're expanding our tester base to include people from around the country. Testers receive training in evaluation tools, report writing, and ways to communicate barriers in accessing electronic and information technology. Testers are also used to demonstrate the use (and barriers faced by) their assistive technology at state conferences, meetings and other gatherings.

Reports include the testers’ findings and many comments/descriptions of the testers’ successful and unsuccessful experiences in accessing information on agency web sites. Reports also include basic explanations of the accessibility/usability principles involved, as well as resources for correcting barriers. We evaluate web sites and describe barriers faced on specific tasks, as requested by the agency.

We're always looking for ways to improve this program! The SC Assistive Technology Advisory Committee is seeking funding to continue the program. We want to expand the tester base, provide more in-depth training and improve the process. We want to increase our abilities to make a real impact on people and groups who create web pages and other electronic information resources. For more information contact Janet Jendron at Janet.Jendron@uscmed.sc.edu.

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