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Invitation to Review the LAST CALL working draft of the W3C WAI User Agent Accessibility Guidelines

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 08:45:02 -0600
Message-Id: <4.1.19991118083456.00c35ee0@staff.uiuc.edu>
To: Smendel@panix.com
Cc: sgoodman@mail.ucpa.org, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Dear Mr. Mendelsohn,

Susan Goodman recommended I contact you to review the LAST CALL working draft
of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative User Agent Accessibility Guidelines. 
Upon completion of last call the working group will update the guidelines based
on last call comments and most likely send the guidelines to W3C member
companies as a propsoed recommendation.  We really want to make sure during
last call that we have covered all the issues related to disability access and
the design of mainstream user agent technology to be more accessible right out
of the box and also be compatible with assistive technologies.  Your review
will help with this goal. 

Would you be willing to review the document?

If you have any questions please e-mail me or contact me at (217) 244-5870.  
Last call information follows and comments are due by December 1st.

Thanks you for your consideration,
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D.
W3C WAI User Agent Guidelines

Last Call Review Information
On behalf of the User Agent Guidelines Working Group [1], I am 
pleased to announce the publication of the "User Agent 
Accessibility Guidelines 1.0" Last Call Working Draft. 

The document address is:
The Last Call review period will end 1 December 1999. Please 
send review comments before that date to w3c-wai-ua@w3.org (archives 
available at [2]).

At their 3 November 1999 teleconference [3], the User Agent Guidelines 
Working Group decided to move the UA Guidelines to Last Call. By 
moving to last call, the Working Group asserts that it 
has met the requirement of its charter [7] "to complete the 
development of user agent accessibility guidelines addressing 
accessibility of graphical, voice, and text browsers, multimedia 
players, and third-party assistive technologies which work in 
conjunction with browsers and multimedia players." 

The Working Group has also published a "Techniques Document" that 
explains different ways to satisfy the requirements of the Guidelines. 
Comments on this document are also welcome, although it is not 
in Last Call. The Working Group does not anticipate moving 
the Techniques Document to Recommendation. When and if the 
Guidelines become a Recommendation, the Techniques Document will 
become a W3C Note. The Techniques Document published at the 
same time as the Last Call Guidelines is:

The list of changes to the Guidelines [8] and the WG's issues 
list [9] are available on the Web.


In your review, please consider the following questions and issues:

1) Do you understand the Guidelines and Checkpoints or do they need 

2) Do you find the documents (Guidelines and Techniques) themselves 
usable? Can you find what you are looking for?

3) Two checkpoints [numbers here] require user agents to make 
available to users information about the current input 
configuration (e.g., keyboard input). These checkpoints 
have been assigned different priorities: Priority 1 for 
user-specified configuration and Priority 2 for 
author-specified configuration (e.g., access keys). The Working 
Group did not reach consensus on whether these two checkpoints 
should be merged into a single checkpoint, and what the priority 
of such a checkpoint would be.

4) Checkpoint 6.1 (Priority 1) asks user agents to implement the 
accessibility features of supported specifications. 
In the Authoring Tool Guidelines Proposed Recommendation, 
checkpoints that refer to 
content accessibility do so by "Relative Priority". This means that 
the priority of the checkpoint in the UAGL depends on how much 
you wish to conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 
[6]. There has been a suggestion to make 6.1 a checkpoint with 
a Relative Priority rather than Priority 1. The Working Group 
did not reach consensus on whether the burden of doing so 
(complicating the priority definition) outweighed the benefit 
of consistency among the three sets of Guidelines. Also, it is 
not clear that a Priority 3 requirement in WCAG would always be 
a Priority 3 requirement in UAGL (i.e., it may be more important 
to implement a feature than for the author to supply it). 
Comments on the proposal to make 6.1 a Relative Priority 
checkpoint are welcome.

Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Chair, W3C WAI User Agent Working Group
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
College of Applied Life Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street, Champaign, IL  61820

Voice: (217) 244-5870
Fax: (217) 333-0248

E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu

WWW: http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
WWW: http://www.w3.org/wai/ua
Received on Thursday, 18 November 1999 09:47:04 UTC

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