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News Release: W3C Announces Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications

From: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 06:59:27 -0700
Message-Id: <3E1F2F4E-5B40-4BBD-AF87-6AE4C75B96A2@w3.org>
To: w3c-news@w3.org


Today, W3C introduces a suite of documents that will make it easier  
for Web site developers to make deliver accessible Web content with  
technologies like AJAX and DHTML.  The Roadmap for Accessible Rich  
Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), along with two new specifications,  
is W3C's first step to bring the richer, dynamic Web content  
experience to all users of the Web, by providing technology  
enhancements and examples for better, more accessible implementations.

For more information, please contact Janet Daly, W3C Communications  
Officer <janet@w3.org> at +1 617 253 5884, or get in touch with the  
W3C Communications Team representative in your region.

W3C Announces Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI- 
ARIA)

W3C's WAI-ARIA Features Will Enable Accessible Dynamic Web Sites

Web Resources

	This press release
		In English: http://www.w3.org/2006/09/aria-pressrelease.html.en
		In French: http://www.w3.org/2006/09/aria-pressrelease.html.fr
		In Japanese: http://www.w3.org/2006/09/aria-pressrelease.html.ja

	The Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA)
	http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-aria-roadmap-20060926/

	Roles for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA Roles)
	http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-aria-role-20060926/

	States and Properties Module for Accessible Rich Internet  
Applications (WAI-ARIA States)
	http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-aria-state-20060926/
	

http://www.w3.org/ -- 26 September 2006  -- Today, W3C's Web  
Accessibility Initiative (WAI) introduces a suite of documents that  
will make it easier for Web site developers to make dynamic Web  
content usable to people with disabilities. The First Public Working  
Drafts of the Accessible Rich Internet Application suite include the  
WAI-ARIA Roadmap, WAI-ARIA Roles, and WAI-ARIA States and Properties.

"As people are demanding more from the Web - more information, more  
responsive applications and richer experiences - an explosion in  
technologies that exclude access to many people is growing. This new  
suite of documents being rolled out is significant because they will  
help developers gain access to the tools needed to support persons  
with disabilities on the Web," explained Rich Schwerdtfeger, IBM  
Distinguished Engineer and author of the WAI-ARIA Roadmap. "ARIA is  
our first step to bring the richer, dynamic Web content experience to  
all users of the Web, by providing technology enhancements and  
examples for better, more accessible implementations."

Dynamic Web Content Currently Excludes Many Users

Assistive technologies, including screen readers, speech dictation  
software, and on-screen keyboards help make the Web accessible to  
people with disabilities. To accomplish this, these tools require  
information about the semantics of specific portions of a document in  
order to present those portions in an accessible form. For example,  
to provide reliable access to a form element, a tool must also be  
able to recognize the state of that element (for example, whether it  
is checked, disabled, focused, collapsed, or hidden).

Web sites are increasingly delivering applications with capabilities  
comparable to locally-installed software. These rich Internet  
applications make heavy use of scripting, and developers often  
improvise hybrids of existing technologies, including AJAX, DHTML,  
JavaScript, and SVG. These applications do not always provide the  
semantics needed to support these technologies. People with  
disabilities are therefore at risk of being left out of this new  
world of information.

The WAI-ARIA Suite Provides Framework for Accessible Dynamic Web Content

The Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA  
Roadmap) describes an overall approach for ensuring interoperability  
between rich Internet applications and assistive technologies used by  
people with disabilities. The approach relies on technologies already  
developed or under development by W3C, such as the XHTML Role  
Attribute Module. In addition, the WAI-ARIA Roadmap presents a gap  
analysis identifying technologies that may still be needed to ensure  
accessible rich Internet applications. Two companion documents  
explain how to bridge those gaps: Roles for Accessible Rich Internet  
Applications (WAI-ARIA Roles) and States and Properties Module for  
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA States).

"We see a tremendous opportunity for Web developers in ARIA,"  
explained Lisa Seeman of UB Access and editor of WAI-ARIA Roles and  
WAI-ARIA States. "By providing a system and techniques for making  
dynamic Web content more accessible, we can give content developers  
what they need to improve the Web experience for a broader range of  
people."

Working Group Encourages Early Review and Feedback

The WAI-ARIA Roadmap has been developed within W3C by the Protocols  
and Formats Working Group (PFWG), which includes industry leaders,  
research, and disability organizations including Adobe Systems,  
America Online, Inc., IBM, Opera Software, Oracle Corporation, Royal  
National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), and SAP AG. The Working  
Group is chaired by Al Gilman.

The work of the PFWG serves as part of the technical foundation for  
W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), making the vision of a Web  
accessibility for all a reality. PFWG is now focusing its attention  
on refining the WAI-ARIA suite, with the intention of developing  
early implementations. W3C invites the Web development community to  
review and comment on these publications and subsequent drafts on the  
public-pfwg-comments@w3.org mailing list.
Contact America --
     Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613
Contact Europe --
     Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94
Contact Asia --
     Yasuyuki Hirakawa, <chibao@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170

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. W3C primarily pursues its mission  
through the creation of 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, Keio University in Japan, and has  
additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http:// 
www.w3.org/

About the Web Accessibility Initiative [WAI]

W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) partners with organizations  
around the world, pursuing Web accessibility by ensuring that core  
technologies of the Web support accessibility; developing guidelines  
for Web content, user agents, and authoring tools; facilitating  
development of evaluation and repair tools for accessibility;  
conducting education and outreach; and coordinating with research and  
development that can affect future accessibility of the Web. WAI is  
supported in part by the U.S. Department of Education; European  
Commission's Information Society Technologies Programme; Fundación  
ONCE; IBM; Microsoft Corporation; SAP; Verizon Foundation; and Wells  
Fargo.
Received on Tuesday, 26 September 2006 13:59:34 UTC

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