A Day in the Life of an A11y Tester

Hello Jesus, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi. I’ll be honest, I’m not great about talking about myself. I am a blind and hard-of-hearing tester here at PLUS QA, and I enjoy what I do. I got my first computer in 2007, and my first mobile device in 2010. What I learned during those first few years about operating the tech I now had was mostly self-taught, and now plays a large role in how I test today.

As testing isn’t just about testing websites and applications but also about documenting issues, communicating with the rest of the team, and other tasks that go beyond just testing, I often have to find new ways of working around a project.

Headshot of Jesus, an a11y tester

How long have you been working as an accessibility tester?

I have been working as an accessibility tester on and off for 5 years, but have been working at PLUS QA for almost 2.5 years.

What does Global Accessibility Awareness Day mean to you?

To sum it up in one word, Global Accessibility Awareness Day means choice. As the concept of accessibility gains more ground, and products become more inclusive, it gives people with disabilities more choices than ever before.

As the platform one chooses to use, and the services that can be used on that platform become ever more accessible, the choices become numbered.

My view of accessibility is that one should not have to make a choice to use one product over another based on how accessible the product is.

What is the biggest impact you can do as an accessibility tester?

I believe the biggest impact one can have as an accessibility tester is to be flexible. Everyone has areas they do better in, and it is only through having the flexibility to work as part of a team that testing and documenting can really shine.

What do you like best about your job?

The best part of my job is working with the rest of the testers here at PLUS QA. As much of our work is now remote, the ingenuity of the team to better work together and problem-solve has been amazing to see.

Jesus standing outside, in front of a mural

Describe a typical workday testing (when in the office):

A typical day of testing starts and ends with my main workstation/computer. This is where I find out what I’ll be working on that day, what other devices I may need to conduct my testing, and how I’ll be communicating with the rest of the team throughout the day. 

After the setup, I can start testing. For me, this starts with looking at what I’ll be testing, and copying any important information into a text document in case there’s a crash or freeze, and I need to restart. 

Next is a quick look at the app or website I’ll be testing to find any major accessibility issues that I need to communicate to the team upfront. Next is the accessibility testing itself, which can vary widely depending on what I’m working on that day, depending on the device, and the project. 

Lastly, is documenting issues I’ve found while testing and looking for issues that may have already been documented so as to not duplicate them, and confuse the people working on fixing them.

Jesus standing in front of a wall of waterfalls

What are your hobbies outside of work?

My hobbies outside of work include reading/listening to audiobooks, going to seasonal events/things like Farmer’s markets, finding new places to eat, and I do take up different types of martial arts from time to time. I’m hoping to get back into Brazilian jiu jitsu sometime soon.

Want to learn more about Global Accessibility Awareness day? Visit https://accessibility.day/

A person holding a post-it note up to a whiteboard, deciding where to start testing during the development life cycle.