WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Proposal for an online, crowdsourced accessibility testing platform


From: Christophe Strobbe
Date: Aug 27, 2010 8:30PM


This proposal reminds me of the BenToWeb project, in which I was
involved a few years ago. The idea was to create a suite of test
files for WCAG 2.0. We developed tools and a metadata format ("Test
Case Description Language - TCDL") to describe the test files. The
test suites are still available at <http://www.bentoweb.org/ts>;, and
the tools at <http://www.bentoweb.org/tools>;. Unfortunately, the
project ended before WCAG 2 reached Candidate Recommendation. After
the end of the project, part of the last test suite was transferred
to WAI (see <http://www.w3.org/WAI/ER/tests/>;), with an updated
metadata format (TCDL 2.0) that was not tied to the conventions used
in BenToWeb. If you are interested in working on this kind of
activity, please contact Shadi Abou-Zahra at W3C and myself.

Best regars,

Christophe Strobbe

At 04:44 25/08/2010, Chris Hoffman wrote:
>Hello everyone,
>I've been reading this list for several years now, and it's been hard
>not to notice that many, if not most, of the questions posed are of
>the form, "Is writing HTML like such-and-such accessible?" or "What is
>the most accessible way to put X on my web page?"
>It has also become apparent, time and again, that although there are
>many ways to increase the accessibility of content online, such as
>adhering to WCAG guidelines or using online accessibility checkers
>like WAVE or Cynthia Says, the only way to _really_ ensure that
>content is accessible is to test it with actual people with actual
>disabilities who are using actual assistive technology. That is, a web
>page that passes all of the automated accessibility checks and adheres
>to accessibility standards is not accessible unless it can be used by
>real people.
>To that end, I have had the following idea rolling around in my head
>for quite a while: Why not create a site that presents pairs of
>alternative HTML snippets and asks users out in the universe whether
>each one is more of less accessible? Visitors could (anonymously)
>record their choices ("A is slightly more accessible than B"), as well
>as any specific notes and the assistive technology they were using,
>and the resulting data could be made available to web designers and
>My first question is, does anything like this (namely, open A/B
>testing for accessibility) already exist?
>The second is, regardless of the answer to the first question, whether
>there is anyone on this list who would be interested in collaborating
>on such a project?
>I'm taking it as a given that there are lots of questions that would
>need to be answered to make this actually work, but for now am taking
>the initial step of getting it out of my head and into the open.
>Thanks & regards,

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
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