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[Article] W3C Advances Accessibility Standard (Internet News)

From: Ian B. Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2001 01:55:49 -0400
Message-ID: <3BA6E1E5.9C9A279E@w3.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Another article on UAAG 1.0 to CR:

  
  W3C Advances Accessibility Standard 
  By Thor Olavsrud 
  http://www.internetnews.com/dev-news/article/0,,10_886051,00.html

Text version below.

 - Ian

-- 
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447

The World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative
(WAI) -- intended to make the Web accessible to the disabled -- took a
large step forward on Sept. 13, when the standards body advanced its
User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 1.0 document to the
"Candidate Recommendation" phase.

UAAG 1.0 describes how to design Web browsers, multimedia players and
other Web software that is more accessible to people with visual,
hearing, physical, cognitive and neurological disabilities -- for
example, providing keyboard support for those who cannot use a mouse
due to blindness or other physical disabilities.

The document is divided into nearly 90 checkpoints, sorted into three
priorities:
  * Priority 1 -- Checkpoints that must be satisfied by user agents,
    otherwise one or more groups of users with disabilities will find
    it impossible to access the Web. Satisfying this checkpoint is a
    basic requirement for enabling some people to access the Web;
  * Priority 2 -- Checkpoints that should be satisfied by user agents,
    otherwise one or more groups of users with disabilities will find
    it difficult to access the Web. Satisfying this checkpoint will
    remove significant barriers to Web access for some people;
  * Priority 3 -- Checkpoints that may be satisfied by user agents to
    make it easier for one or more groups of users with disabilities
    to access information. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve
    access to the Web for some people.

Examples of Priority 1 checkpoints include full keyboard access --
making sure that the user can operate through keyboard input alone --
and ensuring that every message (prompt, alert, notification, etc.)
that has a non-text message also have a text equivalent. Priority 2
checkpoints include allowing the user to configure their browsers or
multimedia players not to render images or to slow the presentation
rate of audio and animations. Priority 3 checkpoints include allowing
the user to configure the position of controls on tool bars of the
user agent user interface, to add or remove controls for the user
interface from a predefined set, and to restore the default user
interface.

The Candidate Recommendation phase is the one of the last steps on a
standard's road to full "Recommendation" status. The W3C said
advancement of a technical report to Candidate Recommendation is an
explicit call for implementation experience to those outside of the
related Working Groups working on the standard or the W3C itself.

Candidate Recommendation is a critical phase in the life of the UAAG
1.0," said Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and Chair of the UAAG Working Group. "Our Working
Group invites developers to comprehensively address software
accessibility by implementing these guidelines. We look forward to
helping developers understand and implement these guidelines."

UAAG 1.0 is one of three guidelines within the WAI. The others are the
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0, which explains to
authors how to create accessible Web content, and the Authoring Tool
Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 1.0, which explains to software
developers how to design authoring tools that are accessible to
authors with disabilities.
Received on Tuesday, 18 September 2001 01:55:55 GMT

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