Our daily accessibility scan runs every weekday at 9 AM ET. It runs an automated accessibility check on every page on the VA.gov sitemap generated in the content-build repository and reports any accessibility violations that are detected. As of December 2021 this sitemap includes over 13,000 pages on VA.gov. A report is generated for each scan, which is uploaded to AWS S3 and made available to all users that monitor the daily scan.

The axe-core tool is used to perform the accessibility check of each page. This tool is integrated into the Cypress end-to-end testing framework, which runs the actual tests. These tests run on GitHub Actions using the Chrome browser. Tests are split into 32 parallel batches in order to keep test execution times under 2.5 hours.

The aXe tool is configured to check against three accessibility standards: Section 508, WCAG 2.1 Level A, and WCAG 2.1 Level AA. Color contrast checks are disabled.

The most recent commit from the content-build repository is used to build VA.gov and run tests against this build. Typically, these accessibility checks run before the most recent changes to content-build are deployed to live environments.

Highlights

  • An aXe scan of all content pages in the content-build repository is executed each working day.

  • The aXe scan begins at 9 AM Eastern time.

  • The aXe scan currently takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete. This time may grow as additional content pages are added to the repository.

  • Results are reported to the #-daily-accessibility-scan Slack channel.

  • A Mochawesome report is generated and linked to from the Slack channel.