Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force Work Statement

The Accessibility Conformance Testing Task Force (ACT TF) is a task force of the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG). It assists this Working Group with the work identified below.


This Work Statement was approved on 11 August 2016 and is now active. The Task Force home page contains information about the operation and resources of the group.


The objective of the Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force is to develop a framework and repository of test rules, to promote a unified interpretation of WCAG 2.0 among different web accessibility test tools. The proposed framework will be generic enough to meet the needs of WCAG 2.0 but not exclude other standards, including future versions of WCAG. The framework will also allow the development of custom test rules to meet company requirements and best practices. This includes test rules for fully automated and semi-automated conformance testing in different web technologies, such as HTML, CSS, and WAI-ARIA. While this framework will add a layer of implemention for tool developers, it provides more consistency and comparability of the resulting test rules.

Scope of Work

The work of the task force includes:

  • ACT Framework: Document specifying the format, logic, and implementation of the test rules. This document is expected to become a W3C Recommendation;
  • ACT Benchmark Method: Document specifying the procedure for validating test rules. This may be a W3C Note or part of the ACT Framework document (above);
  • ACT Benchmark Tool: Software built according to the ACT Framework and ACT Benchmark Method, to help check the validity of test rules to these documents;
  • ACT Rule Suite Repository: Authoritative set of approved test rules are developed by auto-WCAG or submitted to W3C in accordance with the W3C Patent Policy;
  • ACT Rule Suite Frontend: Web-based user interface (application) for submitting, validating, versioning, and presenting a collection test rules to the public.

Further description of these deliverables is provided in the ACT TF wiki.


This work will be largely based on the resources already developed by Auto-WCAG. Only the ACT Framework and ACT Benchmark Method documents are expected to be developed directly within this Task Force. The remaining deliverables are expected to continue being developed within Auto-WCAG, with oversight by the Task Force. This is to maximize participation and leverage contribution by the broader community, while ensuring close coordination and harmonization with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

The deliverables to be developed within Auto-WCAG are expected to become the reference implementations for the development of the ACT Specification as a W3C Recommendation. The initial focus of this work will be on automated testing for WCAG 2.0 Level AA using HTML, CSS, and ARIA.

The Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force depends on:

  • AG WG to ensure accurate interpretation and representation of WCAG requirements;
  • Auto-WCAG to utilize this group's previous and current work on conformance testing.

The Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force will also coordinate with relevant W3C groups and activities on testing and quality assurance. This may include groups such as Browser Testing and Tools Working Group. The Task Force may also coordinate with the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) where necessary to improve the writing, presentation, and educational value of the developed materials.


The communications of the Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force are publicly visible. Communication mechanisms include:

  • Up-to-date task force homepage;
  • Publicly archived mailing list;
  • Public GitHub and Wiki spaces;
  • Public group surveys and minutes;
  • Regular updates to the AG WG;
  • Scheduled deliverable reviews.


To join this Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force, individuals must be participants of AG WG. Participants are expected to actively contribute to the work of the task force, including:

  • Minimum 4 hours per week of task force work (this time also counts towards the individual's participation requirement in the AG WG);
  • Remain current on the task force mailing list and respond in a timely manner to postings;
  • Participate regularly in task force telephone meetings, or send regrets ahead of time.

Participants may also join Accessibility Conformance Testing Task Force sub-groups. Sub-groups take on specific assignments for the Accessibility Conformance Testing Task Force.

If you are interested in becoming a participant of the Accessibility Conformance Testing Task Force or have any questions regarding its work, contact the task force facilitators.

Current participants in the ACT TF.


Staff contacts from the AG Working Group oversee attention to W3C Process with respect to the chartered requirements of the Working Group. The Facilitators set agenda, lead meetings, determine consensus, and are the primary liaison to the Working Group.

  • Facilitators:
    • Wilco Fiers, Deque Systems
    • Mary Jo Mueller, IBM Corporation
  • Staff Contact: Shadi Abou-Zahra

Patent Policy

This Task Force is part of the AG Working Group Charter, which operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the AG Working Group.

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