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accessibility of Web "authoring tools"

From: Shawn Henry <shawn@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 10:27:28 -0500
Message-ID: <433964E0.2020503@w3.org>
To: ddyer@mail.sunyjefferson.edu, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

There was recently a question and comment about accessibility issues with authoring tools (specifically FrontPage and Dreamweaver) on this list. In fact, this is an excellent question! Accessibility of authoring tools plays a *key* role in Web accessibility, and accessibility is very important when deciding which authoring tool(s) to purchase and use.

"Essential Components of Web Accessibility" at http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/components shows how Web accessibility depends on several components of Web development and interaction working together - including authoring tools. Accessibility improvements in authoring tools could substantially improve Web accessibility - because they could make it much easier to develop accessible Web pages, reducing the efforts required of individual Web developers.

Authoring tools should:
* help Web developers produce accessible Web content, and
* themselves be accessible to people with disabilities (that is, so people with disabilities can use the authoring tool to develop Web pages).

"Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview" at http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/atag.php introduces WAI's accessibility guidelines for authoring tools. Note that authoring tools also include Web log (blog) comment features, Wikis for editing Web pages, content management systems (CMS), e-mail archivers, word processors, and more. (http://www.w3.org/WAI/Overview.html#x2005617c)

"Selecting and Using Authoring Tools for Web Accessibility" at http://www.w3.org/WAI/impl/software.html provides information to help find how authoring tools do with accessibility, and work around the gaps in authoring tools. It includes questions to ask software vendors regarding accessibility support in current and upcoming product versions.

I hope this helps!

Best,
~ Shawn

Shawn Lawton Henry
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
e-mail: shawn@w3.org
phone: +1.617.395.7664
about: http://www.w3.org/People/Shawn/
Received on Tuesday, 27 September 2005 15:32:17 GMT

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