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Functional Accessibility Evaluator, version 2.1

Development is primarily supported by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The development is lead by Accessible IT Group which is a unit of Disability Resources and Educational Servcies which is part fo the College of Applied Health Sciences. Additional contributions for the HTMLUnit based web site analysis engine are provided by Administrative Information Technology Services (ATIS) of University Administration.

Important major changes from Version 2.0

  • Updated to support Python 3.6
  • Updated to support Django 2.2.x
  • Removed migration files from app directories

What is Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE)?

  • FAE analyzes a website based on the requirements of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Single A and AA Success Criteria.
  • Every rule used in FAE 2.0 references at primary WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion requirement it is based on.
  • The rules support not only accessibility, but also usable web design for people with disabilities.
  • The rules support accessible and usable design by enforcing the accessible coding practices and techniques of the Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) 1.0 and W3C HTML5 specifications.

Apache 2.0 License

FAE may be used and distributed based on the terms and conditions of the Apache License Version 2.0.

Server requirements for Linux

  • Apache2 Web Server
  • Python 3.6
  • Java 1.8
  • Python development package (python-dev in Debian/Ubuntu)
  • postgresql-devel (libpq-dev in Debian/Ubuntu)
  • psycopg2 package for python to talk to postgres

Python modules

Here is the [requirements.txt] file to use with pip


Creating a secrets.json file

The "secrets.json" file must be created and provides:

  • Security information for Django
  • Information for Django to access and manage the database
  • Information on on e-mail commmunications for registration and announcements.
  • Place this file in the [absolute path]/fae2/fae2 directory
  "FILENAME": "secrets.json",
  "SITE_URL": "[your site URL]",
  "SITE_NAME": "FAE 2.0 for [your organization]",
  "SECRET_KEY": "[random string of 40-50 characters used by django]",
  "DEBUG": false,
  "DATABASE_HOST": "[ip address or localhost if database on same server]",
  "DATABASE_PORT": "[port, typicall 5432]",
  "DATABASE_NAME": "[DB name]",
  "DATABASE_USER": "[DB username]",
  "DATABASE_PASSWORD": "[DB password]",
  "ALLOWED_HOSTS": ["[your site URL]"],
  "EMAIL_HOST": "[mailserver]",
  "EMAIL_PORT": 25,
  "EMAIL_USE_TLS": true,
  "EMAIL_HOST_USER": "[email used for sending registration information and announcements]",
  "EMAIL_HOST_USER_PASSWORD": "[email password]",
  "CONTACT_EMAIL" : "[email notification when a contact form is submitted]",
  "ADMIN_USER_NAME" : "[username of admin user]",
  "ADMIN_FIRST_NAME" : "[first name of admin]",
  "ADMIN_LAST_NAME" : "[last name of admin]",
  "ADMIN_PASSWORD": "[password for admin]",
  "ADMIN_EMAIL": "[email for admin]",
  "ANONYMOUS_PASSWORD" : "[anonymous password, use random characters]",

Apache 2.0 configuration notes

  • MOD_WSGI must be installed and support Python 3.6

Sample Apache configuration gile

<VirtualHost *:80 >

  Servername  []
  ServerAlias []

  Alias /static /var/www/fae2/fae2/fae2/fae2/static/

  <Directory /var/www/fae2/fae2/fae2/fae2/static>
    Require all granted

  <Directory /var/www/fae2/fae2/fae2>
     Require all granted

  WSGIDaemonProcess fae2 python-path=/var/www/fae2/fae2/fae2:/var/www/fae2/fae2env/lib/python2.7/site-packages
  WSGIProcessGroup  fae2

  WSGIScriptAlias / /var/www/fae2/fae2/fae2/fae2/ process-group=fae2


Initializing and updating the database tables

  • You will need to run django makemigrations and migrate commands to update any changes (or to create the initial database) for the django apps used in FAE.
  • This needs to be done after updating to a new version of FAE.
  • For your convience there is a script init_apps that can be used to setup the initial migrations and run migrate
python makemigrations
python migrate

Setting up fae directories for read/write access

  • Need to create data directory with write permissions for apache user and group root user
  • Need to create logs direcotry with write permissions for apache user and group root user

Multiple Django Apps and mod_wsgi

Setup Static Files

  • Enable the virtual environment for fae so it is available from the command prompt:
    source [path to virtual environment]/bin/activate.
  • Change directory to the fae directory with the file `'.
  • You will need to run the following command to copy static files to the static directory:
    python collectstatic

Initialize database tables

  • If not already enabled, enable the virtual environment for fae so it is available from the command prompt:
    source [path to virtual environment]/bin/activate.
  • Change directory to the fae directory with the file `'.
  • Run the following command to create the tables in the database:
    python migrate
  • After the tables in the database are created, go to the "populate" directory.
  • In the populate directory initialize the tables using the following command:

fae-util configuration and testing

  • Purpose of fae-util
    • fae-util is a server based browser emulator based on HTMLUnit
    • It monitors the database waiting for evaluation requests
    • When it identifes a request it will then load web pages and analyze them using the OpenAjax Evaluation Library
    • Each page evaluation results in a JSON file being crerated with the results
    • After all pages are analyzed the information in the JSON files is moved to the database
  • Testing fae-util
    • Go to the "fae-util" directory
    • Use "./build" function to build the java classes
    • Use ./run -c to test if the utility is properly installed and configured
    • It will output URL processing information to the console
    • It will create a directory called "test" that contains *.json files of evaluaiton results
    • NOTE: You must delete the "test" directory to rerun this test (e.g. directory exists error will occur)
  • Creating a service to run evaluation requests

Utility to clean up reports and update summary statistics

  • IMPORTANT: Must run fae-util/ to process remove reports and update summary statistics
  • Create cron job to run a shell script once a day
  • The shell script contains the following command lines:
#!/usr/bin/env bash
/python /fae-util/

InCommon (Shibboleth) Configuration

To enable shibboleth support through InCommon for your institution or organization you need your service manager to enable the following attributes to the entityID identifying the installation of FAE with Shibboleth Support (e.g. "" for the University of Illinois campus):

  • eppn
  • giveName
  • sn
  • mail

Enityt IDs: []

Testing e-mail on localhost development

  • Use a python utitlity to simulate an SMTP server: python -m smtpd -n -c DebuggingServer localhost:1025
  • Configure e-mail in "secretes.json" with the following values:
    "EMAIL_HOST": "localhost",
    "EMAIL_PORT": 1025,
    "EMAIL_USE_TLS": false,
    "EMAIL_HOST_USER": "None",

Development Resources

Django Shibboleth Resources

Incommon Resources (Multi-Institution Shibboleth)


Functional Accessibility Evaluator 2.x




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