How to Contribute

ACT-Rules Community is a W3C Community Group open to anyone interested in accessibility testing, manually or automated.

We welcome contributions from everyone, and there are many ways to contribute, from GitHub issues and pull requests, to contribution to our monthly teleconferences.

You don't have to be a member of the Community Group to contribute.

If you want to get even more out of your involvement in our rule creation project, you can officially join the ACT-Rules Community to get on the mailing list and participate in monthly teleconferences.

Learn more about how to join ACT-Rules Community

Overview of how you can contribute

Give feedback on rules

Feedback on rules is encouraged on our open GitHub repository, so you don't even have to be a member of the Community Group to contribute in this way.

If you "watch" the repository, you will get notifications when changes are happening.

Feedback for ideas and early drafts (Issues on GitHub)

Rules and Definitions (shared terms across rules) that are GitHub Issues can be everything from just a title to a quite finished rule. The issues will be prefixed with either "Rule:" (or possibly "New Rule:") or "Algorithm".

The top comment on an issue should hold the updated rule or algorithm, and underneath there will be a thread of comments and a history of actions related to the issue.

Please feel free to add your own comments to issues.

Start giving feedback on issues:

Feedback and reviews for draft rules (Pull Requests on GitHub)

Pull requests are rule drafts that are ready for peer reviews. You can sign up as a reviewer and follow the rule through iterations. A rule needs three approvals, and if a rule has the label "Reviewer wanted", we need more people to sign up for reviewing it. But even if three people are already signed up, we can always use more eyes on it.

You can both add single comments to a pull request and do a full review.

Only approve a rule if you feel confident (to the best of your knowledge) that this rule is 100% ready to be a published ACT rule. Please also refer to the Definition of "Done".

If you for some reason are not so confident, you can always leave a comment for the things that you have an opinion about, without doing a full review.

Start giving feedback and doing reviews for draft rules:

Feedback/corrections for published rules

We welcome any input for changes, also for already published rules. The published rules should be as precise as possible, limiting the number of potential false positives and false negatives. For this it is important to draw on as many tool and methodology implementations and expert opinions as possible.

Feedback and corrections for existing rules can target both on the sections of the rule itself (Applicability, Expectations, Accessibility Support, etc.) and the test cases, to e.g. expand the edge case coverage.

You have several options for correcting existing rules:

Suggest new rules

Anyone can suggest new rules on our open GitHub repository, so you don't even have to be a member of the Community Group to contribute in this way.

Whether you have a single great idea for an accessibility rule or you work for an organization that wants to contribute a whole repository of rules, we welcome the contribution.

When you submit a rule, we expect you to be responsible for the rule the whole way through the review process, including adjusting the rule as you receive feedback from others. It will take some time and effort, but the learning experience in it is great.

If you are not ready to carry a rule all the way through the process, you can partner up with someone else who wants to do it.

Partnering up with someone outside of your own organization for rule writing will sharpen the rule, which is why we often do that in our work.

Depending on how polished your rule proposal is, you can either add your idea as an issue or a pull request.

Submit an idea for discussion (Issue on GitHub)

For rule contributors with less GitHub experience, it is often easiest to start the rule design in a GitHub issue. This allows for easy editing and discussions with others, while the rule is taking shape.

Learn more about how we work in GitHub issues (TBD).

Submit a draft for a rule (Pull Request on GitHub)

If you have a ready rule draft, you can submit it as a pull request to go into the review process (TBD).

Before contributing a new rule, we recommend you check its validity with several experienced accessibility auditors first. This helps you identify potential stumbling blocks early in the rule design.

If you want to use the experts in the ACT-Rules Community for this, submit your rule suggestion as an Issue (see Submit an idea for discussion (TBD)).

Learn more about the process for submitting rules as pull requests (TBD)

Join the Community Group

The best way to stay informed about the activities of ACT-Rules Community is to become a member.

Mailing list keeps you up to date

By becoming a member you will be added to the mailing list, and you will receive all the latest updates, meeting invites etc.

Participate in our monthly calls

The Community Group has conference calls every month. It is (usually) on the second Thursday of the month at 16:00 to 17:30 Central European Time. See the meeting time in your own timezone.

Participating in our conference calls is the easiest way to become an active contributor, get to know the other members of the Community Group, and learn from the shared pool of knowledge held by the accessibility experts in the group.

The invitation and agenda for these meetings is sent out through the mailing list a few days in advance. The dates for the next 3 meetings can also be found on the agenda.

How to join the Community Group

  1. To join ACT-Rules Community, you need a W3C Account. If you don’t already have one, get a W3C account here.
  2. Go to Join the community group now! and join the group.
  3. If you work for a W3C Member organization, you will need to request approval. This request will be sent to your organization’s representative in the W3C’s Advisory Committee.
Join the Community Group