Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Overview

Introduction

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 address automated, semi-automated, and manual testing. ACT makes accessibility testing more transparent, and thus reduces confusion caused by different interpretations of accessibility guidelines.

Who ACT is for

The primary audience of Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) is developers of accessibility evaluation methodologies and testing tools. They write, share, and implement ACT Rules into their products and services.

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 ACT Rules do, and how they relate to their own requirements.

Who ACT is not for: Users of accessibility tools (web developers, content authors, QA testers, etc.) are not expected to read ACT. These audiences will use products and services that implement ACT Rules.

What is in ACT

ACT Rules Format 1.0

Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Rules Format 1.0 is a W3C Recommendation (web standard) that defines a format for writing test rules. The latest Editor Draft and GitHub repository are available for future development.

Technical document format

The ACT Rules Format 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.

ACT Rules Repository

Currently, W3C published the following set of rules:

More rules are expected in the coming period. The ACT Rules Community Group developed over 50 rules, many of which will be submitted to W3C for review and approval. Other entities can also contribute candidate rules for review and approval.

Future of ACT Rules

We expect more ACT Rules to be formally published by W3C as further candidate rules are contributed by the community. Contact Shadi Abou-Zahra for questions on how to contribute candidate rules and participate in the review process of ACT Rules.

Who develops ACT

The ACT Task Force of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG) develops the ACT Rules Format specification. The ACT Task Force also reviews test rules contributed by the community in first instance. Formal publication of the ACT Rules Format specification and of ACT Rules listed on this page is made by AGWG.

The ACT Rules Community Group develops test rules according to the ACT Rules Format specification. These rules by the community group do not have any formal standing in the W3C process.

Opportunities for contributing to ACT and other WAI work are introduced in Participating in WAI.

Additional information

For more information, see:

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