Mock-up of WCAG 2.0 with both Format and Authoring Requirements

by Ian Jacobs

Status of this document

Based on comments I made on WCAG 2.0 in September 2003, I have created a mock-up to better explain the type of re-organization of WCAG 2.0 I had in mind. This mock-up includes most of the requirements of WCAG 2.0 (based on the 27 Oct 2003 WCAG 2.0 internal draft) and many of the requirements of XAG 1.0 (based on the 3 Oct 2002 WD and ). It is obviously not intended to be a complete set of guidelines, but should be sufficient for the purposes of illustrating how this re-organization can simplify the task of the WCAG WG in creating WCAG 2.0. This document does not say much about conformance, which I would suggest be addressed separately after discussion of this proposal.

This document does not represent the consensus of WAI or of the WCAG Working Group. It has not been reviewed by anyone. It is only intended to represent the opinions of the author.

Last modified: $Date: 2003/11/21 02:36:46 $

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Format Accessibility Guidelines
  3. Authoring Accessibility Guidelines
  4. Conformance
  5. Definitions

1. Introduction

2. Format Accessibility Guidelines

The expectation is that the format satisfies all of the applicable requirements.

2.1 Requirements common to all formats

2.2 Requirements for audio, video, animation, and other non-text content.

For each piece of video or audio-visual content:
For audio:
For video and animations:
For other static non-text content (e.g., images) that conveys information visually:

2.3 Requirements for content requiring user interaction

2.4 Requirements for navigation, orientation (for all content)

2.5 Requirements for rendering (for all content)

2.6 Requirements for specialized elements

3. Authoring Accessibility Guidelines

3.1 Conformance to specifications

3.2 Requirements for text

3.3 Requirements for audio

3.4 Requirements for content requiring user interaction

3.5 Requirements for orientation

3.6 Requirements for navigation

3.7 Requirements for rendering

3.8 Requirements related to user agents

3.9 Good practice for using language accessibly

The following good practice items involve the accessible use of language. These are not requirements that can be easily verified since they are so subjective, context-sensitive (e.g., poetry v. scientific publication v. parody), and vary from language to language. Nonetheless, we encourage authors to keep the following in mind as they design content:

  1. Use good grammar
  2. Use proper spelling
  3. Use simple language.
  4. Use simple graphics to illustrate important concepts.
  5. Break down content into reasonably-sized chunks (e.g., use sections and paragraphs).
  6. Create titles that are sufficiently different
  7. Include images and diagrams when they help convey the meaning of the content.

4. Conformance

More work to be doner here...

5. Definitions

This section is normative. It is incomplete at this time.

The document object, composed of octets
A character sequence (i.e., a code point sequence)
text content
An octet sequence that, after processing, produces characters in content that communicate meaning through words and sentences.
non-text content
An octet sequence that does not have the characteristics of text content.
Used here both in the sense of "XML element" and the sense of "logical format entity".
explicitly associated
A piece of content that is associated with another (e.g., through markup) in a manner than can be recognized by a software agent. Explicit associations should be bidirectional.
audio-visual content
Content that consists of at least one audio track synchronized with at least one visual track.
audio content
Content that conveys information through sound, including speech.
time-sensitive content
Content that, when rendered, is time-sensitive.
static content
Content that, when rendered, is time-insensitive
text equivalent
Text that approximates an explicitly associated piece of non-text content. In the general case, a text equivalent consists of alternating sequences of:
  1. Text transcript: Text that represents words and sentences.
  2. Text description: Text that summarizes important information.
collated text equivalent
A static text equivalent for audio-visual content.
collated audio equivalent
Like a collated text equivalent, but consisting of pre-recorded human voice or synthesized speech (either pre-recorded or generated on the fly).
A collated text transcript that is synchronized with the explicitly associated audio-visual content.
important information
Content that the author deems important to understanding the meaning of the content.
An agent can "recognize" something if it can process it according to specification automatically, i.e., without user interaction.