Introducing Accessibility scanning using Selenium WebDriver

Ever wanted to do accessibility scanning in your WebDriver tests in Java? Introducing webdriver-accessibility, a Java library that helps you run accessibility audits using Selenium WebDriver and Google chrome accessibility developer tools. It uses Google chrome accessibility developer tools to run accessibility audits and then parses the report into a logical Java object.  webdriver-accessibility marks elements which violate accessibility rules on your webpage and takes a screenshots for better reporting. The output result of this tool contains accessibility errors, warnings for you to assert in your tests along with screenshot pointing to problematic elements on your web page.

How to use this library? It’s very simple. Launch your site using WebDriver, and pass along WebDriver object to the tool.

AccessibilityScanner scanner = new AccessibilityScanner(driver);
Map<String, Object> audit_report = scanner.runAccessibilityAudit();

And you could assert like below in your test,

if (audit_report.containsKey("error")) {
 List<Result> errors = (List<Result>) audit_report.get("error");
 assertThat("No accessibility errors expected", errors.size(),equalTo(0));

Output Map<String,Object> has following keys,

 /** @type {List<Result>} */
error, //contains all errors
/** @type {List<Result>} */
warning, //contains all warnings
/** @type {String} */
plain_report, //contains plain report
/** @type {byte[]} */
screenshot, //contains screenshot for reporting

Result object is made of following,

 /** @type {String} */
  rule, //contains specific rule information
  /** @type {List<String>} */
  elements, //contains all element locators with errors/warnings
  /** @type {String} */
  information_link, //link to [GoogleChrome accessibility-developer-tools audit rules][3] wiki for more details

If you want specific details of the error, you could scan through the List of errors like below.

List<Result> errors = (List<Result>) audit_report.get("error"); 
for (Result error : errors) {;//e.g. AX_TEXT_01;//e.g. Url explaining the error
 for (String element : error.getElements()) //violated elements;//e.g. #myForm > P > INPUT

Similarly you could scan all warnings for details. Just get the “warning” key from the audit_report map. Rest remains the same.

List<Result> warnings = (List<Result>) audit_report.get("warning");


  • Light weight library
  • Easily extend your Selenium WebDriver suite to run accessibility audits
  • Use any version of Selenium WebDriver
  • No hard assertions, they are totally up to the user


  • Selenium WebDriver uses browsers native APIs to simulate user interactions with the web app. webdriver-accessibility injects Java scripts to run accessibility audits and marking elements on the webpage. Injecting external Java script libraries pollutes global scope of the page under test. Therefore keep your functional and accessibility tests separate.

Here is a sample cucumber report of the accessibility audit that I ran on my sample site. In my sample site, I deliberately introduced some accessibility errors and warnings to demo how the tool captures them and highlights corresponding elements in the screenshot. In the screenshot, you can notice that input text boxes violated missing label rule and are therefore marked with red border. There are in fact 24 violations of missing label rule, in my example below however GoogleChrome accessibility-developer-tools at most provides 5 errors/warnings of each type. Therefore only 5 input boxes with this violation are marked with red border. Also the small pizza image violated missing ALT attribute rule as a warning and therefore marked as yellow.


I have hosted the project on github here. I am not an accessibility expert and open for suggestions to make this tool better. If you want to contribute, fork away. Feedback appreciated!


Creating custom HttpMessageConverters for Spring’s RestTemplate

Yesterday, I struggled with one of ours REST API which is old and oddly designed. The API always returns, 200 HTTP status code in the response header, no matter the request is successful or not. Response body has a field called as “code” along with some other fields which represents the actual status code. In situations when the ‘actual’ response code is non-200 in the response body, HTTP response header code is still 200 and RestTemplate thinks that this is a genuine response and tries to deserialize the response body and fails! This made me write my own HttpMessageConverter that I could pass on to RestTemplate to deserialize the response object.

I looked at MappingJackson2HttpMessageConverter source and pretty much kept the source except for the readInternal() method. Rest of the methods in my converters are exactly like MappingJackson2HttpMessageConverter, hence I have taken out the duplicate methods below for brevity.

public class CustomHttpmsgConverter extends  AbstractHttpMessageConverter<Object> {

    public static final Charset DEFAULT_CHARSET
    = Charset.forName("UTF-8");
    private ObjectMapper objectMapper = new ObjectMapper();
    protected Object readInternal(Class clazz, HttpInputMessage inputMessage) throws IOException, HttpMessageNotReadableException {

      InputStream istream = inputMessage.getBody();
      String responseString = IOUtils.toString(istream);
      JavaType javaType = getJavaType(clazz);
      try {

        return this.objectMapper.readValue(responseString, javaType);

      } catch (Exception ex) {

        throw new HttpMessageNotReadableException(responseString);



    Notice the use of string in object mapper for deserialization. Original implementation in MappingJackson2HttpMessageConverter uses input stream to deserialize, but I first use it to convert it to string since I need to preserve the response body. HttpInputMessage stream can only be used once because it is closed internally after it is fetched for the first time. Therefore, I can only use string to deserialize in my converter. This is important to note.

    In my @Test I just catch the HttpMessageNotReadableException which has the reponseString if the message is not readable

    public void test() {

      String url = "htt://";
      RestTemplate template = new RestTemplate();
      List<HttpMessageConverter> converters = new ArrayList<HttpMessageConverter>();
      converters.add(new MDLmsgConverter());
      MultiValueMap header = new LinkedMultiValueMap();
      header.add("Content-Type", "application/x-www-form-urlencoded");
      HttpEntity requestEntity = new HttpEntity(null, header);
      try {
      ResponseEntity<Data> response =, HttpMethod.POST,
      requestEntity, Data.class);
      } catch (HttpMessageNotReadableException e) {
      "this is what the response body was"));