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Re: Accessible Authoring Tools

From: Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 01 May 2000 10:21:29 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, David Sheehy <dsheehy@mac.com>

Getting authoring tools to support production of accessible content is
indeed an important way to ensure that there is more accessible content on
the Web.

That is why W3C/WAI developed, with input from many organizations and
individuals, the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (ATAG)
<http://www.w3.org/TR/ATAG> which were released as a W3C Recommendation on
February 3, 2000.

You might want to visit the ATAG press release
<http://www.w3.org/2000/02/ATAG-PressRelease> and the testimonials and fact
sheet that are linked from the release. 

There are currently a number of authoring tool developers working on
implementations of ATAG.

For more information, contact either myself (information in signature block
below) or the head of press relations, Janet Daly, at the W3C; information
available from http://www.w3.org/Press.

Thanks for your interest,


At 04:47 PM 5/1/00 +1000, David Sheehy wrote:
>Hello everyone,
>I'm writing a substantial article and recommendation for accessible 
>content authoring for online media services. As well as covering 
>existing standards, software and devices, I would like to get people 
>thinking about the future of accessibility today. This way, we can 
>keep an eye on development and let vendors know our requirements.
>I'm looking for any suggestions, especially in the area of authoring 
>tools. What features can we give HTML editors (for example) to make 
>1. Output more accessible code and
>2. make the applications themselves accessible to impaired users.
>Quick thoughts of my own on point 1 - having a 'structural' mode, 
>which doesn't allow any "display tags", such as <font>. For example, 
>the <EM> emphasis structure tag is allowed, but <I> Italic, is not. 
>this will encourage the use of stylesheets, and aid in the transition 
>to a full XML environment. Word processors are particularly bad at 
>outputting HTML that is full of very specific font tags. Visual 
>editors often use complex tables for layout. these Apps should have 
>modes which disable visual formatting, and strip HTML to structure + 
>Point 2 - simply have the software prompt the user for ALT, TITLE and 
>LONGDESC tags for images and links. this should speed up authoring by 
>not requiring manual selection of fields which are often hard to get 
>to, because sighted designers rarely use them. This feature would 
>also encourage sighted designers to consider Accessibility, because 
>it becomes less of a chore. Maybe it could be extended further, with 
>a database of title and ALT tags which are associated with regularly 
>used URLs or images files for automatic insertion.
>That's just a start, I'm sure there is much to add.
>David Sheehy
>on behalf of RPH Australia
Judy Brewer    jbrewer@w3.org    +1.617.258.9741    http://www.w3.org/WAI
Director,Web Accessibility Initiative(WAI), World Wide Web Consortium(W3C)

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Received on Monday, 1 May 2000 10:21:37 UTC

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