WTANZ session 05 – Blind as a Bat

WTANZ session 05 – Blind as a Bat

Date: 27 June 2010

Time: 4:30pm AEST/ 6:30pm NZT/12 noon IST/8:30 am Europe

Facilitator: Oliver Erlewein

Attendees:  Marlena Compton, Keis


On of the often neglected parts of testing is accessibility testing. It is usually not done if it is not mandated or a explicit requirement. This is not because testers and IT people are mean but because it is one of THE most challenging test areas that can be had. Most people lack even the most minimal empathy for the problem. In order to start changing that and creating awareness we’ve had this session.

The mission is actually trivial. Go to Google and search for “weekend testing”. Then click on the link to go to weekendtesting.com

But easier said than done. This is a three part exercise:

1) Install a screen reader or use the built in one on your OS. (eyes open for this)

Tips are:
1) Screen Reader Jaws (PC): http://www.freedomscientific.com/products/fs/jaws-product-page.asp
2) https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/14206/
3) Mac OS X VoiceOver (part of the OS)
4) ORCA on Linux
5) Narrator Windows Vista/Windows 7

2) Start the browser (eyes closed)

3) Execute the exercise (eyes closed except for text entry. That means look at keyboard only)

BONUS MISSION: Log in to the weekend testing site.

The aim is to find defects but rather also find the issues or tricky bits of blind navigation. This know-how helps in looking for design flaws in websites or even process flaws.


Well, not only were we blind as bats (not that they are) but we also had severe issues with all the different screen readers. They are not really easy to use. I think before I try and explain have a read of the transcript. It shows the issues clearly. maybe try and do the exercise yourself and feel how laborious it is.It definitely is an epiphanic kind of moment.

WTANZ05 PDF Transcript

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