An email recieved by the WaSP Accessibility Task Force:
I am an Intermediate skilled Website Developer who is seeking out information on doing what I can to make my websites as completely accessible as possible.
I’ve begun searching and reading articles regarding this. The thought occurred to me that it would be great to have these different “reader” software so that I could test my websites once they were reasonably finished. Then I realized the software I wanted is probably quite expensive.
So another thought occurred. What if there are disabled active volunteers who would be willing to review your website with their software? Obviously, it would be a request after one is confident that they have done everything they could rather than while the website is being built.
So I’m hoping this has already been thought of. I would appreciate any response regarding this idea and how practical or valid it would be.
I have to say that, personally, I do not know of anyone who is willing to do this for free and I’m not sure if that’s a reasonable thing to expect, to be honest (given that the software is expensive to buy and it must be more difficult for a blind person to seek gainful employment than a sighted web developer). I don’t mean for this to come across in a harsh way - it’s admirable that the sender wanted to check that the sites are accessible beyond running the pages through an automated validator.
I know that there is the Usability Exchange, which puts developers/companies in touch with disabled end users for this kind of thing, but it’s not a cheap service. So, is there something in between? Or do you know someone who’d be willing to run a few tests as requested in this email? Add comments and I’ll pass ‘em on.