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Re: your thoughts on the WCAG test procedures


From: Steve Green
Date: Jun 21, 2020 5:25PM

The techniques and failures described in WCAG are just some examples, and we don't really make much use of them when conducting a WCAG audit. Instead, we look at how to test the normative WCAG success criteria in the context of the way the website is coded. In a few cases, there is only one way to test a particular success criterion. In other cases, there might be a great many, only some of which will be relevant depending on how the website is coded.

You won't find many of these testing techniques documented anywhere. To some extent this is because companies like us spend thousands of hours developing these techniques and it's our intellectual property. We're not about to just give it away free to anyone.

In any case, testing is not a matter of mechanically working through a checklist of prescriptive tests. Modern coding techniques are so complex and in the vast majority of cases the code we are testing is so terrible that it requires a great deal of skill to accurately test a website. If you tried to write down all the testing techniques we use, it would be a very, very thick book. However, on any given page, it is only necessary to apply a small proportion of those techniques.

If your aim is to audit a website for WCAG conformance, then I don't really see that there is any other way to do it. If your aim is to do an accessibility audit, then you can define that to mean anything you want and you can do whatever testing you want.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Julius Charles Serrano
Sent: 21 June 2020 20:47
Subject: [WebAIM] your thoughts on the WCAG test procedures

Hi all.

First I want to acknowledge and thank you all for the extremely helpful discussions and information you are providing in this group.

I'd like to get your thoughts on the test procedures for the WCAG success criteria. Going through WCAG, I find that most success criteria have multiple sufficient techniques and failures, each one having its own test procedures.   

*    Sufficient Technique for SC 1.3.1 > Situation A > ARIA11 > Test
procedure: https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/aria/ARIA11.html#tests
*    Failure for SC 1.3.1 > F2 > Test procedure https://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG21/Techniques/failures/F2.html#tests 

I see how this can result to a very comprehensive accessibility test, however, my gut feel is that it would take a very long time to test a page if we go through each test procedure.

Please can you share your thoughts - is there another way of looking at it? I'm open to other perspectives. Also, your techniques in using the test procedures would be very useful.

Thank you for reading my message and I look forward to hearing from you.