[Athen] Does this kind of tool exist or can someone create it and make it open source?

Steve Green steve.green at testpartners.co.uk
Sat Feb 6 08:18:04 PST 2021

That is not going to be viable because there are so many different ways you can label a form control, depending on how it and the surrounding content is coded.

Also, there are several means by which a form control can appear not to have a label, each of which needs to be fixed in a different way. For instance, a form control might have a label, but if it also has an "aria-labelledby" attribute that points to an empty element, this overrides the label so the form control is effectively unlabelled. I have seen this in the real world many times.

Another situation is where you have form controls in a data table. In this case, each form control probably (but not 100% definitely) needs to be labelled by both its row header and column header. You can't expect a tool to magically know what the author intended.

This all makes more sense if you understand the Accessible Name Computation, which defined how browsers must compute the label for each element type. https://www.w3.org/TR/html-aam-1.0. Section 5.1.1 deals with textboxes, checkboxes and radio buttons.

Without a reasonable knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and ARIA, the level of testing you can do is very limited and the level of remediation is lower still. Automated tools don't get you anywhere near WCAG conformance even if you were able to fix all the issues they find, and without coding knowledge you can't tell when they are reporting false positives.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Hayman, Douglass
Sent: 05 February 2021 21:36
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Does this kind of tool exist or can someone create it and make it open source?

I'm finding that I can use various tools like WAVE or ANDI to identify inaccessible web content like a form field with no label or an image that lacks an ALT tag. But then not being a regular author of web content via HTML, I have to say to myself, "Now how is it your supposed to label a form field?" and go look up resources like examples on webaim.org.

Is there anything out there that will both identify say, a missing form field and then also let the user fill in text that then gets added to properly pair up with the text box? I am thinking of something like what one can do in Adobe Acrobat Pro for at least the lack of ALT tags where one can go image by image, type in ALT text and go on to the next one then save the PDF.

A tool like this that was open source would seem like such a great way to go.

Doug Hayman
IT Accessibility Coordinator
Information Technology
Olympic College
dhayman at olympic.edu<mailto:dhayman at olympic.edu>
(360) 475-7632 (currently working remotely and don't have access to this phone)

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