Gajapathy DanduRasamala from Cognizant – with over 11+ years of experience in Quality Engineering. Being a Software Development Engineer in Test, he is an expert in Accessibility Testing, UI Automation Testing, Rest API automation testing, Performance testing. Very good in defining test strategy for Digital projects which going through the re platforming from Monolithic to Micro Services & Micro Front ends.

Title: Automated Accessibility Testing – Enabling accessibe product delivery to clients without discrimination

Ensuring accessibility and usability for aged & specially abled people is always a bottleneck, Over seven million people or 18% of the working-age population in Britain are disabled as defined by the Equality Act 2010. 


Web accessibility is a yardstick to measure application’s accessibility for the end users with disabilities
or impairments aside normal users. To support and comply with the ‘Accessible Certified’ web application to WCAG standards, the Quality Engineering team has adopted the SiteSpeed.io/ Lighthouse/ Axe-core packages.


Problem definition

Web sites should be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with
diverse abilities

  •  RNIB Concerns - RNIB discovers huge usability & accessibility issues during the acceptance testing phase. 90% of which are deviations from WCAG guidelines.
  • Costly Defect Fix - Cost of fixing many defects identified during Acceptance testing phase is high
  • Validating Accessibility Manually - Achieving WCAG rules for accessibility compliance for websites
    manually can be a nightmare. Validating accessibility for 100+ pages and web modals of a customer facing eCommerce website is a huge effort taking activity. It’s expensive too
  • Quality & Eficiency - Loss of business due to delivering a website to disabled customers without
    thorough accessibility testing.
  • Discriminative - Websites not accessible are discriminating and do not adhere to UK equality Act
    2010 as Over seven million people are disabled.

Key Solution Description

Websites of one of the Retailer’s in the UK are developed using React.js, the components of any given
page are developed and stored in Storybook where the QE team pairs with Developers and incorporates Axe
which validates the Accessibility in component level itself. This helps in reducing the basic issues identified by
RNIB during audits.


Sitespeed.io + Lighthouse + Axe is used to run through all 100+ web pages to identify the accessibility
violations vulnerabilities.


Page wise accessibility score Dashboard is generated based on the accessibility test execution which
enables the project team to keep track of pages getting improved or pages declining in accessibility score.


Along with Sitespeed.io + Lighthouse + Axe, QE team use Codecept.js + Puppeteer.js + Axe-core to
stimulate any given state in a web page to validate the accessibility in Popups and Modals. Huge manual effort
is avoided because of using Sitespeed.io, lightHouse, Axe, Axe-core.


These accessibility tests are executed in CI/CD Feature Jenkins pipeline before even your feature or
branch code is merged to Master. Our CI/CD Path to Live Jenkins pipeline triggers Automated Accessibility
test, where the Live build fails if Accessibility tests are failing. i.e The huge importance of Accessibility testing
is achieved before any feature is released to Production i.e to the end customer. Cost to fix defects during later
stages are highly avoided because of CI/CD runs.


Key Benefits

As our websites are developed using React.js, the components of any given page are developed and
stored in Storybook where the QE team pairs with Developers and incorporates Axe which validates the
Accessibility in component level itself.

  • 0 Licence cost
  • Solution is compatible with any Cloud based Software development
  • Seamless CI/CD integration with Scalability feature
  • Early issue identification
  • No Manual effort required
  • 95% of the issues identified during Automation Audits (i.e RNIB) are identified during
    Development phase itself
  • Every Accessibility issue is segregated as Serious/ Complex/ Medium/ Minor categories to
    make BA’s work easy to prioritise the issues to be fixed earlier.

“Out of all the People Discrimination is purely avoided because of any physical challenges.” 


Cost Saved 

Total Number of Pages + Popup modals validated
Time required to validate manually
800 mins
Time taken to validate using QE Team’s Automated
Total number of test Runs
~30 per month
i.e Total mins saved in a given month
24000 mins (30 X 800) i.e 50 PDs saved per month