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Accessibility Automation Testing Tool by PayPal


It’s often true that a quality tester or anyone for that matter would look for robust features and possibly have all features at one place. When it comes to identifying automated tool to check for accessibility of a web interface, some of the questions that would come up with are:

  1. Does this tool be able to test as per standards?
  2. Does this tool be able to cover all segments like use of colors, forms, headings, tables etc.,?
  3. Does this tool be able to generate a report?
  4. Can I be able to export results for my own purpose?

One such tools that was recently open sourced by PayPal is Automated Accessibility Testing Tool [External link].

What is AATT?

AATT tests web applications regarding conformance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Find a list of the WCAG 2.0 rules checked on the HTML CodeSniffer WCAG Standard Summary page. AATT provides an accessibility API and custom web application for HTML CodeSniffer. Using the AATT web application, you can configure test server configurations inside the firewall, and test individual pages.

AATT includes HTMLCodeSniffer with Express and PhantomJS, which runs on Node.

For example, it can be used to test Java web applications using SeLion automation test frameworks.

For node applications, it can be integrated into NemoJS testing framework to run accessibility testing during automated unit testing.

Features of AATT

  1. There are two tabs in the interface; one is to test by providing a website address and second is to test by writing code into its editor
  2. Tester can choose if to see screenshots or not to see them. Good part is that it shows the screenshot of the element that has a problem
  3. Tester can configure to display errors, warnings and notices
  4. By clicking on “Test Page” button, an alert is displayed as loading and as the process gets completed, results are displayed in a table format that includes:
    1. Error level – this displays whether one is error, warning or notice
    2. Second column displays name of Principal hyperlinking to its documentation on ‘s documentation
    3. Then displays the description of error / warning / notice
    4. Next column displays the code snippet of the element; this would be very useful for developers to identify where the actual problem is
    5. Second last column displays link to technique from WCAG documentation to resolve the problem
    6. And the last column displays “Screenshot (if selected above)
  5. In the results table, first two columns (error type and Principal) are sortable
  6. Ability to export results as CSV file
  7. If web pages are beyond the firewall and require authentication, one can use “Login” feature and provide Web page address, user name and password so that tool will create a cookie and process the testing

Refer to AATT documentation for instructions for download and setup.

Happy testing!

SkipTo plugin by PayPal Accessibility Team – an enhancement to SkipTo links

Did you remember our post on Skip links – what, why and how?. In that article, we have seen how skip links would benefit users who uses screen readers or keyboard only but wouldn’t it be cool if Skip links actually helps everyone?

Thanks to PayPal (External link) for introducing an enhancement to skip to by introducing SkipTo Plugin (External link).

Let’s say you run a knowledge base portal or a news daily and your readers would love to browser by skim reading the page and read complete article of their choice. So they decide to skim read by headings and as you know one needs to either a scroll through the page with mouse or use down arrow on the keyboard. Wouldn’t it be cool, if your readers have a choice where they don’t require to scroll down and down a lot to skim read and able to browse all headings at one place? That’s exactly what SkipTo plugin offers. Not only your readers can browse through headings easily but the tool also have ability to show them important sections of the page such as content area, navigation, search etc., What’s more? if your reader is in middle of e page and would want to see the headings list, they can do so just by using a keyboard short cut key! You, as a developer or author, have a flexibility to decide what level of headings you would want to display, whether to show module on keyboard focus or page load and decide a keyboard short cut key.

You can very much experience the SkipTo plugin on this website. Thank you PayPal Accessibility team for this wonderful gift! BTW, this plugin is open sourced so any of you can help improve the plugin!

Once again here is the link to grap SkipTo plugin