W3C logo  Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) logo WCAG WG

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) Charter

  1. Mission
  2. Scope
  3. Deliverables
  4. Dependencies
  5. Duration
  6. Success
  7. Communication
  8. Confidentiality
  9. Voting
  10. Participation

Information about how to join the WCAG WG is available on the Web.

Note. Although the charter is available publicly, some of the links in this document refer to resources that require W3C Member access. This charter is written in accordance with section 6.2.6 Working Group and Interest Group Charters of the W3C Process.

1. Mission

The mission of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) is to develop guidelines to make Web content accessible for people with disabilities. In particular, the WCAG WG will further advance the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 towards a W3C Recommendation.

This mission is complementary to the work of other Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) groups within the WAI Technical Activity and the WAI International Program Office Activity. The WCAG WG is part of the WAI Technical Activity.

The WCAG WG intends to follow its mission consistent with the Quality Assurance (QA) Framework developed by the W3C QA Activity. The WCAG WG commits to attaining QA level three, as described in QA Framework: Operational Guidelines.

The WCAG WG was first chartered in August 1997 (charter) to produce WCAG 1.0 which became a W3C Recommendation in May 1999. The WCAG WG was rechartered in November 2000 (charter) to continue W3C's work on guidelines for creating accessible Web content. The early history of this group is documented in the "End of Charter Report for the Web Content Guidelines Working Group." The group is being rechartered to allow additional time for development of WCAG 2.0.

2. Scope

The scope of the WCAG WG's work under this charter is to:

  1. Advance WCAG 2.0 further towards a W3C Recommendation, per "Requirements for WCAG 2.0";
  2. Develop techniques for implementing the WCAG 2.0 in W3C Recommendations (such as XHTML, SMIL, SVG, and MathML) as well as ECMAScript.
  3. Track related work in other Working Groups, contributing to, reviewing, or integrating as appropriate;
  4. Document implementation testing experience of WCAG 2.0 during and after Candidate Recommendation.

3. Deliverables

The WCAG WG has been working on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 since March 2000 and seeks to further advance WCAG 2.0 towards a W3C Recommendation. Addressing a breadth of technologies, reformulating the priority scheme, and writing a suite of documents that meet the Requirements for WCAG 2.0 has taken longer than anticipated. The Working Group will continue to work on the following deliverables:

  1. Requirements for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which outlines the requirements that the WCAG WG has set for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. The WCAG WG intends for the Requirements to remain a W3C Working Draft.
  2. Requirements for WCAG 2.0 Checklists and Techniques, which outlines the requirements that the WCAG WG has set for the Techniques documents for WCAG 2.0 including checklists and other views. The WCAG WG intends for the Requirements to remain a W3C Working Draft.
  3. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which focuses on the accessibility of Web content. WCAG 2.0 must meet the requirements set out in "Requirements for WCAG 2.0." The WCAG WG intends for the WCAG 2.0 to become a W3C Recommendation;
  4. Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which provides implementation details for satisfying the success criteria of the Guidelines. The Techniques documents must meet the requirements set out in "Requirements for Techniques for WCAG 2.0." The WCAG WG intends for the Techniques documents to become W3C Notes at the same time the Guidelines advances to Recommendation status;
  5. A set of WCAG 2.0 test materials consistent with the QA level three defined in QA Framework: Operational Guidelines, which includes at least:
  6. Ongoing documentation of open issues;
  7. Monitoring of implementations for conformance to WCAG 2.0, interoperability and quality. Publication of Implementation Reports;
  8. A list of proposed milestones, to be updated accordingly;
  9. Minutes of WCAG WG meetings.

When approved by the WCAG Working Group, progress on deliverables can be accomplished through a task force (refer to section 6.1 of the W3C Process Document). The creation of a task force will be announced to the WCAG WG through the WCAG WG mailing list. Task forces will be described on the WCAG WG home page and should produce a requirements document that outlines the scope and expectations for work. Any documents produced by the task force must be approved by the WCAG WG in order to be published as a W3C Report. Task forces may set up separate teleconferences and hold face-to-face meetings per the W3C process and with approval of the WCAG WG.

4. Dependencies

The WCAG WG should ensure that WCAG 2.0 is consistent with and contributes to the goals of other WAI deliverables, including the "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0," the "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0," the "User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0," the "XML Accessibility Guidelines" and the WAI Glossary. These dependencies will be managed primarily through the WAI Coordination Group and will require direct contact with the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AUWG), the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (UAWG), and the Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG member page is also available).

If the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG) is rechartered as expected, the WCAG WG will work with the ERT WG to interpret and coordinate development of techniques for developers of testing methodologies and tools.

The WCAG WG should attempt to make WCAG 2.0 usable by a wider audience than WCAG 1.0. The WCAG WG will depend on the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) to provide feedback to help make WCAG 2.0 as easy to use as possible and to develop strategies and materials to increase awareness and to educate the Web community about WCAG 2.0. Historically, the EOWG has created business case information, evaluation processes, curriculum, quick tips and other resources to clarify the work of the WCAG WG.

The Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG member page is also available) is the conduit for describing and resolving dependencies between WAI groups and other W3C Working Groups. The WCAG WG will work with PFWG to provide input into other W3C groups on accessibility requirements and to review WCAG 2.0 Techniques. The WCAG WG will also work directly with other W3C Working Groups to develop Techniques for WCAG 2.0. This interaction is twofold:

  1. to request reviews and contributions to examples and techniques (for example, Scalable Vector Graphics WG and Semantic Web Activity), and
  2. to coordinate development of techniques schemas and tools (for example, Internationalization WG and Device Independence WG).

The WCAG WG will coordinate its QA work with the Quality Assurance Working Group through an appointed QA moderator as principal point of contact.

In addition, external organizations may reference or adopt the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in tools and policies. Coordination with external groups is through the WAI International Program Office.

5. Duration

The Working Group is scheduled for 10 months, from September 2003 through June 2004 at which point the WCAG WG is expected to be rechartered, as part of the renewal of the WAI Technical Activity, for sufficient time as needed to complete WCAG 2.0 as a Recommendation and for post-Recommendation work.

6. Success

The success criteria for the WCAG WG are:

7. Communication

The Working Group will make use of the following communication mechanisms:

8. Confidentiality

The Working Group proceedings, mailing list archives, charter, and deliverables will all be public.

9. Voting

This charter has been written in accordance with Section 3.4 Votes of the 18 June 2003 Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

10. Participation

The WCAG WG welcomes participation from W3C Member Organizations, and also invites experts from disability organizations, accessibility researchers, assistive technology developers, government organizations, and other interested in promoting accessibility of Web content.

10.1 Member and Invited Expert participation

Participants are expected to observe the requirements of Section of the Process Document ("Good Standing in a Working Group"). The following is an excerpt from that section:

Participation in a Working Group on an ongoing basis implies a serious commitment to the charter, including all of the following:

For this Working Group, the following commitment is expected:

10.2 W3C Team participation

10.3 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

W3C promotes an open working environment. Whenever possible, technical decisions should be made unencumbered by intellectual property right (IPR) claims.

This is a Royalty Free Working Group, as described in W3C's Current Patent Practice.

Working Group participants disclose patent claims by sending email to <patent-issues@w3.org>; please see Current Patent Practice for more information about disclosures.

10.4 Joining the Working Group

Information about how to join the Working Group is available on the Web.

Gregg Vanderheiden, Working Group Co-chair
Jason White, Working Group Co-chair
Wendy Chisholm, Team Contact
Judy Brewer, WAI Domain Lead
Last modified: $Date: 2004/02/12 18:03:10 $

Valid HTML 4.0! Level Double-A conformance icon,            W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Valid CSS!