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DC2002 and Accessibility Metadata

From: Liddy Nevile <Liddy.Nevile@motile.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 09:52:51 +1000
Message-Id: <a0510030ab9a828c05b35@[]>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Despite little active online discussion in the DC-Accessibility 
Interest Group list (see 
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/dc-accessibility.html), there does 
seem to be widespread support for development by DCMI of 
accessibility metadata. What is required is a little more than 
interoperable discovery metadata.

I think that we want users with varying profiles to be able to find 
and use resources and services with varying levels of accessibility. 
I believe that the development of suitable DC metadata elements will 
provide a generalisable solution to this problem, using W3C 
interoperable technologies.

There is work on-going to find a suitable way to represent the 
accessibility of a resource or service and also to represent 
conformance to accessibility standards. As the standards are 
developing, particularly because their use has now revealed 
interesting data about how they can affect the implementation of 
accessibility, the ideas have been changing. But the technologies 
have been developing as well, as many of the tools required for 
increasing accessibility are emerging.

The issues that need to be dealt with include:
* what should be available about the accessibility of a resource or service
* how should this information be represented, encoded
* where and to whom should this information be made available
* who should be responsible for providing and storing this information

Work has been on-going on how to categorise the needs of users, 
whether these needs are the result of disabilities or circumstances. 
For example, the IMS Global Project is close to releasing its LIP for 
people with disabilities - Learner Information Profile (see 
http://www.imsproject.org/). This profile is based on extensive work 
done in Canada and at the UK Open University. It helps organise the 
information that is necessary to cater for all sorts of access 
devices that might be in use. It follows a model that has been 
adopted in the UK where the Open University can have a profile of its 
enrolled students. but we know that not all users want others to 
control or have access to their profiles.

So there are still outstanding issues such as:
* where and how should such a profile be used. There are different 
answers depending upon the context, it seems.
* how should such a profile be encoded so that it can be used for all 
relevant purposes, including discovery and content transformation.
* how does such a profile relate to the profile of a resource or 
service being sought by a user.

W3C Accessibility Working Group members are participating in the 
DC2002 Accessibility sessions in order to further support the 
dialogue between DCMI and W3C Accessibility with respect to the 
proposed DC element. At DC2002 these issues will be discussed and a 
proposal for the creation of a DC-accessibility Working Group with a 
charter to develop suitable extensions to the DC Metadata Set to 
cater for accessibility will be presented.

Please contribute to this discussion by commenting here, joining the 
DC-accessibility list or, even better, coming to Florence for the 
meeting. The DC2002 is well-designed to cater for special interest 
areas and we can schedule plenty of time for participants to work on 

In particular, please suggest what you think are important work items 
for the DC metadta community.

Liddy Nevile
Received on Friday, 13 September 2002 19:53:01 UTC

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