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News Release: W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web

From: Marie-Claire Forgue <mcf@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Dec 2008 16:10:00 +0100
Message-ID: <49412D48.3030405@w3.org>
To: w3c-news@w3.org

W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web

Collaborative Effort Results in More Flexible and Testable Standard;
Advances Accessibility of the Web

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Additional Materials
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   The press release is available in these languages:

     English:
     http://www.w3.org/2008/12/wcag20-pressrelease.html.en
     French:
     http://www.w3.org/2008/12/wcag20-pressrelease.html.fr
     More languages:
     http://www.w3.org/Press/#x2008-wcag20

   These materials accompany the release:

     Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0:
     http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/

     WCAG 2.0 at a Glance
     http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/glance/

     How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A Customizable Quick Reference
     http://www.w3.org/WAI/WCAG20/quickref/

     Additional materials in support of WCAG 2.0 are linked from
     the press release online.

   These organizations expressed support of WCAG 2.0 through
   testimonials:

     Access Board; Adobe; American Association of People with
     Disabilities; ANEC; Boeing; CTIC Foundation; Deque; Disability
     Rights Fund; European Commission for Employment, Social Affairs
     and Equal Opportunities; European Commission for Information
     Society and Media; European Disability Forum; UN Global Initiative
     for Inclusive ICTs (G3ict); Hitachi; HP; IBM; Information
     Technology Research and Standardization Center (INSTAC);
     Innovimax; International Webmasters' Association / HTML Writers'
     Guild; Internet Society (ISOC); Microsoft; Mitsue-Links; National
     Center for Accessible Media (NCAM); SAP; Trace Research &
     Development Center; UNESCO; and Vision Australia.

   For the full text of these testimonials, see:
     http://www.w3.org/2008/12/wcag20-testimonial

---------------------------------
   Contact Americas, Australia --
          Ian Jacobs, <ij@w3.org>, +1.718.260.9447

   Contact Europe, Africa and the Middle East --
          Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94

   Contact Asia --
          Fumihiro Kato <fumi@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170
---------------------------------


-------------
Press Release
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W3C Web Standard Defines Accessibility for Next Generation Web

Collaborative Effort Results in More Flexible and Testable Standard;
Advances Accessibility of the Web

  http://www.w3.org/ -- 11 December 2008 -- Today W3C announces a
  new standard that will help Web designers and developers create
  sites that better meet the needs of users with disabilities and
  older users. Drawing on extensive experience and community
  feedback, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
  improve upon W3C's groundbreaking initial standard for
  accessible Web content.

  This new standard from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative
  (WAI) will advance accessibility across the full range of Web
  content (such as text, images, audio, and video) and Web
  applications. WCAG 2.0 can be more precisely tested, yet it
  allows Web developers more flexibility and potential for
  innovation.  Together with supporting technical and educational
  materials, WCAG 2.0 is easier to understand and use.

  WCAG 2.0 addresses barriers to accessing the Web experienced by
  people with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive and
  neurological disabilities, and by older Web users with
  accessibility needs. WCAG 2.0 explains how to make content:

  * Perceivable (for instance by addressing text alternatives for
    images, captions for audio, adaptability of presentation, and
    color contrast);

  * Operable (by addressing keyboard access, color contrast,
    timing of input, seizure avoidance, and navigability);

  * Understandable (by addressing readability, predictability, and
    input assistance); and

  * Robust (for instance by addressing compatibility with
    assistive technologies).


Wide Support for WCAG 2.0

  "Because WCAG 2.0 applies to all Web technologies, it can help
  ensure that the Web stays open to people with disabilities even
  as we continually introduce new technologies. We incorporated
  feedback from thousands of comments received during the
  development of WCAG 2.0 regarding user needs, and technical
  feasibility," said Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden, Co-Chair of WCAG
  Working Group, and Director of the Trace R&D Center at the
  University of Wisconsin. "WCAG 2.0 represents the outcome of a
  major collaborative effort, and its final form is widely
  supported by industry, disability organizations, research and
  government. This balance is important in order for WCAG 2.0 to
  serve as a unifying international standard for Web
  accessibility."

  Extensive supporting materials to help developers and policy-makers
  include WCAG 2.0 at a Glance; WCAG 2.0 Documents; How to Meet WCAG
  2.0: A Customizable Quick Reference; Understanding WCAG 2.0; and
  Techniques for WCAG 2.0. Techniques are already available for HTML,
  CSS, SMIL, Scripting, and Accessible Rich Internet Applications
  (WAI-ARIA), and are under development for additional Web
  technologies. Resources to support transition include How to Update
  Your Web Site to WCAG 2.0. Essential Components of Web Accessibility
  describes the relationship between WCAG 2.0 and other Web
  Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines that also have 2.0 versions
  under development.


Far-Reaching Impact

  "Web accessibility helps us reach a broader audience by
  supporting access to the Web for people with disabilities, as
  well as increasing usability across a variety of mobile
  devices," explained Loretta Guarino Reid, Co-Chair of WCAG WG,
  and Google Accessibility Engineer. "The Web community helped us
  demonstrate successful use of WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.0 test
  procedures in diverse types of Web technologies, Web content,
  interactive applications, and natural languages. These trial
  implementations also show the continuity between WCAG 1.0 and
  2.0, as most Web sites that conformed to WCAG 1.0 did not need
  significant changes to meet WCAG 2.0."

  While WCAG 1.0 was adopted widely, there is even broader
  interest in adoption of WCAG 2.0 by organizations and
  governments worldwide. The Policy for Authorized W3C
  Translations is expected to facilitate direct adoption in local
  languages.  http://www.w3.org/2005/02/TranslationPolicy


  "In the recently passed United Nations Convention on the Rights
  of Persons with Disabilities, access to information and
  communications technologies is for the first time recognized
  internationally as a human right," according to George Kerscher,
  Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium. "WCAG 2.0 will help
  to make access to information a reality around the world."

  Current and recent participants in the WCAG Working Group
  include Adobe, AOL, Google, IBM, International Webmasters
  Association/HTML Writers' Guild, Microsoft, NIST, SAP, and
  Vision Australia, and individual Invited Experts from research,
  disability, government and standards organizations in Australia,
  Canada, Europe, Japan, and the United States. In addition, the
  extensive public review process resulted in comments from
  hundreds of organizations and individuals around the world.


About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

  The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international
  consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and
  the public work together to develop Web standards and guidelines
  designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400
  organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run
  by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
  Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research
  Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered
  in France and Keio University in Japan, and has seventeen
  outreach offices worldwide. For more information see
  http://www.w3.org/.


About the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

  W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) works with
  organizations around the world to make the Web more accessible
  for people with disabilities and older users. WAI pursues Web
  accessibility by ensuring that Web technologies support
  accessibility; developing guidelines for Web content, browsers
  and media players, and authoring tools; developing resources to
  support improved evaluation tools; developing resources for
  education and outreach; and coordinating with research and
  development efforts that can affect future accessibility of the
  Web. WAI is supported in part by the U.S. Department of
  Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation
  Research (NIDRR), the European Commission's Information Society
  Technologies Programme, HP, IBM, Microsoft Corporation, SAP, and
  Wells Fargo. For more information see http://www.w3.org/WAI/.

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Received on Thursday, 11 December 2008 15:10:36 GMT

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