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Accessibility in HTML 4.0

From: Judy Brewer <JBrewer@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 1997 21:12:45 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-hc@w3.org
Hello HC WG Members,

This just went out to the WAI Interest Group, so you should be getting it
twice.  If not, please sign up for the WAI IG by sending mail to
w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org with subscribe in the subject line and nothing in
the body.

And, thanks!



WAI IPO Interest Group Members:

The World Wide Web Consortium today announced the release of HTML 4.0,
which includes accessibility improvements which are described briefly
below.  In addition, the W3C has announced an HTML validation service,
which while not yet focusing directly on accessibility, does validate for
inclusion of the required ALT tags on images in HTML 4.0.

The full press release for HTML 4.0 is available at http://www.w3.org . We
will be sending out more detailed information on the accessibility
improvements in HTML 4.0 later in January.

Thanks to the many individuals and companies on this w3c-wai-ig list serve
and other WAI list-serves who have contributed ideas to help bring about
these accessibility improvements, and in particular to participants of the
Web Accessibility Initiative's HTML & CSS Review Working Group which
developed many of the recommendations and to the HTML4 Working Group which
incorporated them.

- STYLE: Strong emphasis on distinction between document structure and
  presentation (through style sheet integration and deprecation of HTML
  presentation elements and attributes).

- ALT tags now required on images, to make images easier to
  understand when graphical presentation is not used.

- LONGDESC attribute an added option for IMG, FRAME & TABLE, to enable
  linking to a detailed description of images, frames or tables.

- OPTGROUP element added within the SELECT FORM controls to make long 
  lists of choices more manageable when they are serialized.

- FIELDSET, LEGEND gives the ability to group FORM controls

- ACCESSKEY and TABINDEX provides better navigation within forms.

- SUMMARY, CAPTION, COLGROUP, SCOPE and HEADER attributes added to
  make TABLE easier to understand when linearized.

- MEDIA: Wider range of target media (TTY, Braille, etc.) for use with
  style sheets. 
- OBJECT provides the ability to furnish hypertext description of an 
  included object.

- MAP has a new content model that allows client-side image map to 
  provide more detailed textual explanation of the links in the map.

- TITLE and LANG support on all elements allows systematic indication 
  of document structure and content.

- ABBR and ACRONYM elements support systematic description of
  acronyms, which is very useful for speech output.


Judy Brewer
Judy Brewer   jbrewer@w3.org     617-258-9741
Director, Web Accessibility Initiative International Program Office
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
MIT/LCS Room NE43-355
545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139 USA
Received on Thursday, 18 December 1997 21:12:00 UTC

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