Accessibility Evaluation

Accessibility Analysis

The Accessibility Analysis Window is similar to the internal report format of Accessibility Valet. It is opened on a URL selected from a browse window or accessibility query results, and displays an interactive report for that URL evaluated against the test suite specified in the configuration.

It enables the user to perform and record an evaluation based on the automatic testing, and (optionally) publish the evaluation in a report equivalent to AccessValet's Level 2.

[screenshot: Accessibility Analysis]

Performing an Evaluation

Note - Your current Valet login name is recorded with your evaluation. If you have multiple User IDs for Valet, you should ensure you are logged in as the right user.

Performing an evaluation may be a privileged operation. This depends on your local configuration.

The Document Tree

The Document Tree is displayed using a tree widget, nodes of which can be interactively expanded or collapsed to browse the tree. Nodes may be automatically highlighted when you browse the accessibility warnings.

Elements, Attributes and Text

The Document Tree is basically a DOM tree, modified as follows:
  • Only Element, Attribute and Text nodes are displayed; others are discarded.
  • Element nodes are displayed as subtrees, that can be interactively expanded or collapsed.
  • Attribute nodes are condensed to appear as in the actual markup; i.e. name="value". Note that this means text subnodes are folded into the attribute.
  • Text nodes are rationalised: nodes containing only whitespace are suppressed, and long text nodes are truncated.
  • Any Element or Attribute node that is either deprecated or bogus will be marked as such in the document tree.

The Warnings List

The Warnings list comprises a summary result for the page tested, together with a list of warnings. Each warning is displayed as a collapsible single-level tree. Initially, you see a list of one-line warnings, any of which can be selected to open the tree and display the full details.

Summary Result

The Summary result states the guidelines against which a page was tested, and the results of the assessment. Possible results are:
  1. Pass - a totally clean bill of health is rare, particularly at the higher levels.
  2. Probable Pass - some warnings were generated, but they refer only to things that are probably OK but could possibly be problems.
  3. Possible Pass - the warnings include some which indicate a significant likelihood of violating the guidelines tested, and require manual inspection.
  4. Probable Fail - Valet detected something that usually implies a violation of the guidelines. It is possible that your usage is perfectly correct, but you should take care!
  5. Fail - there are clear and unambiguous violations of the guidelines. Note that at WCAG level AA or higher, any deprecated or invalid markup is a violation of Guideline 3 and hence causes the page to fail.
When reading the results, you should always be aware of the limitations to automatic testing and the need for human judgement.

Interpreting the Warnings

Opening any warning will display details, comprising:
  • A URL to the guideline that may have been violated.
  • The danger associated with the warning. This refers to the likelihood that the warning actually means a violation, not to the severity of the (potential) violation.
  • A list of nodes in the document tree that generated the warning. Selecting a node from the list will display it in the document tree.

Referencing the Document Tree

As noted above, when you have expanded a warning, you can select any of the nodes to which the warning applies. This will expand the node (and its ancestors) and highlight the node in the document tree, so you can easily identify it. Although unrelated nodes are collapsed to avoid clutter, you may still have to scroll. You can of course browse the document tree at will after highlighting the warning.

Save and Publish

Two buttons are provided to Save and Publish.
The Save button records your evaluation in the Valet database, and updates the current accessibility status of the document checked according to your results.
The Publish button also records your evaluation. In addition, it publishes a report to the webserver, documenting your evaluation. This report is stored as XML, and can be read as HTML or EARL.
The Publish function is implemented by the optional Web Publisher component, and is available only if you have this installed.

If you try to quit without having saved or published, you will be prompted for confirmation.