Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force Work Statement (2020)

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 23 January 2020 and is now active. The prior 2017 work statement is available. The Task Force home page contains information about the operation and resources of this group.


The objective of the Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force is to evolve and maintain a repository of ACT Rules for WCAG 2, to promote a unified interpretation among different web accessibility test tools and methodologies. ACT Rules conform to the ACT Rules Format 1.0 to document different testing practices. The ACT TF reviews ACT Rules, and present them to AGWG when they meet stringent quality criteria. AGWG may publish such ACT Rules as non-normative W3C resources, as part of the supplemental guidance for WCAG 2.

Scope of Work

The work of the Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Task Force includes:

  • Repository of ACT Rules: Review ACT Rules contributed to W3C, such as from ACT Rules Community Group, and maintain a repository of rules approved by AGWG
  • Implementations Monitoring: Encourage and gather implementation reports from accessibility test tools and methodologies for ACT Rules published by AGWG
  • Specification Maintenance: Maintain Errata for ACT Rules Format 1.0 specification, and gather feature requests for future versions of this specification
  • Silver Collaboration: Coordinate with AGWG and its Silver Task Force to exchange ideas for conformance testing and to integrate ACT in future guidelines
  • ACT Community Support: Promote the work of ACT within W3C and externally, and encourage participation and contribution by different key stakeholders


This work builds on the earlier work carried out by ACT TF and on the work that continues to be carried out by the ACT Rules Community Group. In particular, ACT Rules development continues to take place in the ACT-R CG 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).

ACT TF is not expected to develop new specifications at this time. ACT TF will gather implementation experience, including of the ACT Rules Format 1.0 specification, Common Input Aspects note, Evaluation and Report Language (EARL), and related W3C guidance. ACT TF may update or develop additional non-normative guidance, for example to help explain ACT and its uses.

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

  • AG WG to ensure accurate interpretation and representation of WCAG requirements;
  • ACT Rules Community Group to utilize this group's contribution 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 AGWG;
  • 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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