Last week concluded the third Auto-WCAG face to face meeting. This was the best attended meeting thus far, with 16 participants representing 11 organisations. We thank the BBC for hosting us this year, and Emma Pratt Richens who helped us organise.
Auto-WCAG Renamed to ACT Rules CG
This update has been upcoming for some time now. Since its inception, the work on Auto-WCAG has changed in significant ways. It is no longer limited to automation, and instead, focusing on using the ACT Rules Format enables consistent testing between different testing methodologies and tools. The next step in rebranding will be to set up a new community group and start transitioning members.
New Getting Started Materials
A subgroup of Auto-WCAG will be taking on the task of creating new guides and streamlining the workflows for writing rules. Github isn’t the easiest tool to use, especially for non-developers. With new guides, and better tooling build around Github, we are hoping to streamline this process, and make it easier for people to start contributing to Auto-WCAG.
Tracking Rule Implementations
In order to maximise transparency and start track implementations of rules, Auto-WCAG will start to export its test cases using the Test Case Description Language (TCDL). Developers of automated accessibility tools use this TCDL file in their tools to validate their implementations of the Auto-WCAG ACT ruleset.
If tools then output their results using the Evaluation And Reporting Language (EARL) and send those results to Auto-WCAG, we have a fully automated way to track which tool implemented which Auto-WCAG rules. Not only that, Auto-WCAG will have visibility into what parts of those rules are automated, semi-automated or manual. Once we have rules with enough implementations, we hope to have rules published as a W3C resource.
Auto-WCAG Adopts A New Identifier Schema
This update is a bit technical. Each rule will be given a unique semi-random 6 character alphanumeric value, for example “i38ao3”. This will replace the existing identifiers, such as “SC4-1-1+SC4-1-2-aria-allowed-attribute”.
The goal is to have identifiers that are not tied to WCAG, so they can remain unchanged even as rules are updated, and can be expected to be unique even with different groups contributing rules. The new identifiers will start to be used as part of transitioning from Auto-WCAG to the new ACT Rules Community Group.
The Auto-WCAG Face to face was a great success! After more than 4 years of work, Auto-WCAG continues to bring together people who are trying to harmonize accessibility testing. Much has been learned over that time, and in recent months, several organisations have committed to adopting Auto-WCAG / ACT Rules into their testing environment.
If you are interested in contributing to the Auto-WCAG, and soon to be ACT Rules Community Group, please join the community: