Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Rules Format 1.0 First Public Working Draft is now available

Accessibility Testing is critical for ensuring accessibility of any product. Similar to any other testing e.g. performance, functional etc., quality is an essential component for accessibility testing too!

Accessibility Guidelines Working Group has published First Public Working Draft of Accessibility Conformance Testing (ACT) Rules Format 1.0 and accepting comments and feedback by 5th May, 2017.

As the size and complexity of web development is growing, it’s essential to have adequate tools to automate accessibility testing. To make rules universal, there needs a standard specification. That is what ACT Rules format aims to address.

About the ACT framework

There are currently many products available which aid their users in testing web content for conformance to accessibility standards such as WCAG 2.0. As the web develops and grows in both size and complexity, these tools are essential for managing the accessibility of resources available on the web.

This format is intended to provide a consistent interpretation of how to test for accessibility requirements so as to avoid conflicting results of accessibility tests. It is intended for both manual accessibility tests as well as for automated testing done through accessibility test tools (ATTs).

Describing how to test certain accessibility requirements will result in accessibility tests that are transparent with test results that are reproducible. The Accessibility Conformance Testing Rules Format (ACT Rules Format) defines the requirements of these test descriptions, known as Accessibility Conformance Testing Rules (ACT Rules).

The spec consist of Scope of the specification, ACT rule structure that talks about rule outline, rule description, accessibility requirements, Limitations, assumptions and exceptions, accessibility support; Test subject types, ACT test procedures, ACT data format and Rule Quality Assurance.

Do read through ACT rule format draft and File a issue on github if you have some feedback. Comments that the working group is looking for is about:

  • Does the ACT Rules Format address all the topics that are critical to rule design?
  • Does the section on accessibility support adequately address the topic?
  • Does the section on Accuracy Benchmarking adequately address the topic?
  • Are there improvements to better support developers of test rules to transpose their rules and adopt this format?

As a reminder, last date to submit the feedback is 5th May, 2017.