Frequently Asked Questions

This tool is designed to help ensure that the requirements of the EPUB Accessibility specification are correctly applied when evaluating EPUB publications. The goal is to help simplify each of the tasks that have to be carried out, from validation of the content to insertion of discovery and reporting metadata.

Content Evaluation

Is it necessary to do manual testing?

Yes, human verification is necessary to properly evaluate the accessibilty of the content. Automatic testing is an essential tool in evaluating conformance, but even the best tools will miss many potential problems (e.g., they cannot judge quality). Do not assume that a clean report from an automated testing tool means that a publication conforms to WCAG or EPUB requirements.

Is it necessary to do automated testing?

Although not required, it is strongly recommended that you perform automated testing. Relying only on manual testing introduces the potential for human error. Although automated testing is not perfect, it is thorough in what it is capable of checking.

Is spot-checking sufficient?

Spot checking is not recommended when you first begin to evaluate publications. You need to perform a thorough check to ensure all accessibility thresholds are met, and to identify consistent problem areas.

If the publications you are checking are produced from a predictable workflow — one that incorporates accessibility fixes back into its upstream flow to prevent reoccurrence — then as you gain more experience you could choose to only spot-check for manual problems (e.g., looking for only new or complex content forms you haven't encountered before).

In some rare cases, the accessibility of all publications could even be assumed based on the evaluation of a single publication (e.g., where the content follows a strict template and there are no multimedia elements).

In general, though, it is recommended that the automated testing tool be run on all publications even when manual spot-checking of conformance is performed.

Why are there options to show AA and AAA success criteria?

Although you only need to meet the criteria for the level you have chosen, for reporting purposes you may want to indicate that a publication has met the criteria of higher levels.

Selecting these options will include the succss criteria in the form and in the generated report, but will not factor them into the determination of whether you have successfully reached the specified level.

Tool Use

Where can I report issues?

To report issues with the ACE tool, open a new issue in the ACE GitHub tracker.

To report issues with this conformance and reporting tool, open a new issue in the conformance and reporting GitHub tracker.


SMART stands for Simplified Manual Accessibility Reporting Tool. SMART is designed to do exactly what its expanded name suggests: simplify the manual accessibility evaluation and reporting process for EPUB publications.