Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Overview
The purpose of the Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) effort is to establish and document rules for testing the conformance of web content to accessibility standards, such as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These test rules include automated, semi-automated, and manual testing procedures. The ACT Task Force aims to make accessibility testing transparent, and thus minimize confusion caused by different interpretations of accessibility guidelines.
Who ACT is for
The primary audience of Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Rules Format is developers of accessibility evaluation tools. They implement rules into their products. ACT serves as documentation and requirements for these tools.
A secondary audience is accessibility experts. They often assist in setting an organization’s accessibility policy, and it is important for them to know what the rules do and ab able to write rule.
Who ACT is not for: Users of accessibility tools (web developers, content authors, QA testers, etc.) are not expected to read ACT.
Objectives of ACT
- Establish consensus interpretation of accessibility requirements (Primarily WCAG) around a core set of test rules — currently there are varying and often contradictory interpretations of WCAG, which causes confusion and slows down the implementation of web accessibility
- Provide transparency and comparability of test tools and implementations — currently test tools employ their own often proprietary interpretations of WCAG, making test results difficult to interpret, combine, and compare
- Enable increased tool support by documenting structured testing procedures — establishing a common base of test rules allows tool developers to focus on increasing tool support, to reduce the amount of manual testing required
- Support test-driven authoring of success criteria in WCAG 2.1 and beyond — providing the framework for test rules will allow the working group to author future accessibility requirements that are backed by authoritative test rules
Status of ACT 1.0
Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Rules Format 1.0 is currently a Working Draft.
Technical document format
The ACT follows the W3C format for technical specifications, which includes several sections at the beginning: links to different versions, editors, copyright, abstract, and status with the link to errata and the email address for comments. Most WAI specifications have a link at the top to the Table of Contents.
Who develops ACT
The auto-WCAG Community Group develops non-normative test rules according to the normative framework specification, and provides feedback to inform the development of the standard.
Opportunities for contributing to ACT and other WAI work are introduced in Participating in WAI.
For more information, see:Back to Top