Accessibility Testing program for people with visual impairments.
Period of implementation of the project:
The issue of the website accessibility has received considerable attention in the United States and, more recently, in Europe. Today there is a directive of the European Parliament, which stipulates that European countries must adopt a law that would require all public sites to be accessible. And by 2021, according to the document, it is necessary for mobile applications as well.
There is a significant demand for such expertise in the Ukrainian market, as a significant number of IT companies work for the Western market, but there are not enough qualified specialists.On the other hand, our education system does not have the resources on the appropriate basis to train visually impaired people in IT specialties.
The WHO estimates that more than a billion people, or about 15% of the world’s population, have some form of disability. In the United States, this figure is about 25%, the number of people with disabilities in Ukraine today is about 6%.
Since ordinary end users of digital products cannot give definitive conclusions about its accessibility, as they often just do not know what issues people with disabilities might experience, SoftServe decided to teach people with visual impairments to be testers and offered them workplaces at the company. Therefore, at the end of 2019, SoftServe developed the first training course based on SoftServe IT Academy to train specialists in Accessibility Testing.
Finding candidates turned out to be a difficult task. The main requirements for applicants were basic computer skills and knowledge of English.
The Accessibility Testing course is designed for 2 months and consists of two parts: the first contains the standard content for groups of testers, and the second is the actual part related to Accessibility Testing. SoftServe IT Academy mentors have adapted the training materials to formats accessible to the visually impaired students.
Another component of the successful implementation of the project and its expansion in the future was the accessibility audit of SoftServe IT Academy facilities.
The first Accessibility Testing course at SoftServe IT Academy has been developed.
8 graduates of the first group joined SoftServe after finishing the program.
An accessibility audit of the company’s training facilities and offices was conducted, as a result of which it was found that 50% of all SoftServe offices are accessible.
The internal requirements for the construction or selection of leased premises for the company’s offices have been agreed, according to which all such facilities must be accessible to less mobile groups of people.
An instruction with accessibility requirements for internal and external activities organized by the company has been developed.
Company: SoftServe Inc.
About the company:
SoftServe Inc. is a global digital authority that advises and provides at the cutting-edge of technology. SoftServe is one of the largest software development companies in Central and Eastern Europe and the largest Ukrainian service IT company. With its United States headquarters in Austin, Texas, and European headquarters in Lviv, Ukraine, we employ over 8,000 people in 40 offices in 12 countries, the United States and Europe. Developer offices of the company are situated in Lviv, Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Rivne, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Sofia (Bulgaria), Wroclaw, Bialystok, Gliwice and Warsaw (Poland).