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Introduction to AT Vendors - On the right track?

From: Wilson Craig <Wilsonc@Hj.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 15:29:37 -0500
To: "'Judy Brewer'" <jbrewer@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000601bf48cd$70c0c3c0$7a0f5acf@wilsonremote>

The following is a draft of a statement that would be used to introduce
assistive technology developers to the WAI and associated guidelines and
techniques. It may be too short, too long, too obtuse or any number of other

Any and all feedback is welcome.


Providing accessibility to the World Wide Web requires cooperation among
mainstream web browser developers, assistive technology vendors, web authors
and developers of web authoring tools. The WAI offers guidelines and
techniques to each of these groups.

Much web content is developed using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), which
is developed and published by the W3C. This content may be coded manually or
generated using a number of different "what-you-see-is-what-you-get"
(WYSIWYG) authoring tools. HTML is very flexible. Hence, a wide variety of
methods may be used to develop pages with identical visual content.

WAI Authoring Guidelines provide web authors with a set of standards and
techniques for creating accessible sites. Authors who follow these
guidelines will in no way compromise the visual appeal of their web sites,
but ensure that their sites will work with a variety of assistive

WAI User Agent Guidelines are divided into two groups: those pertaining to
independent users agents such as web browsers and those that apply to
dependent user agents such as screen readers, screen magnifiers and
self-contained speech-based browsers.

Assistive technology vendors benefit not only by adhering to the dependent
user agent guidelines, but by being aware of all other guidelines as well.
For example, one of the most compelling problems with providing access to
web sites regards the use of tables. This HTML construct is used both to
organize pages into columns and to deliver tabular data.

If a browser developer develops the ability to interpret HTML so that it
renders tabular content in a certain way, assistive technology developers
benefit by knowing what that will be. Similarly, if the WAI proposes certain
techniques to authors who want to label the elements of the table so that
the browser can implement this interpretation, assistive technology vendors
should support this method of coding a table.

Supporting guidelines developed by the WAI serves both to raise awareness of
the standards and to ensure that others following the guidelines are
reinforced and supported in their work. Cooperation among those for whom
guidelines are developed allows ease of development for mainstream and
assitive technology developers and ease of use for people who disabilities
accessing the limitless information available on the Web.

For more information on the various guidelines, techniques, workgroups and
activities developed by the WAI, please visit the web site at


Wilson Craig
Marketing Manager/Webmaster
Henter-Joyce, Inc.
11800 31st Court North
St. Petersburg, FL 33716

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Judy Brewer
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 1999 10:50 PM
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org
Subject: No EOWG meeting this Friday Dec 17


We will not be meeting this Friday, Dec 17, due to too many conflicting
meetings and proposals.

Please be on the lookout however for material on the mailing list from
Wilson Craig, for review and comment.

The next two Fridays are not good for meetings due to upcoming holidays.

That puts our next meeting at Friday, January 7, 1999.


- Judy

Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA,  02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 17 December 1999 15:30:50 UTC

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