Summary for W3C Workshop on Metadata for Content Adaptation

Wendy Chisholm, W3C/WAI
Team contact for WCAG WG


The premise of Web accessibility is: content adapts. For example, text (a sequence of characters from the Unicode character set) can be read aloud by a speech synthesizer, magnified by a screen magnifier, displayed in a variety of color combinations by a browser, displayed as braille by a braille display, and signed by a signing avatar. Captions can be read instead of listening to the speech and sound effects in multimedia. A link may be activated by clicking a mouse button or pressing a key on a keyboard.

Web accessibility is making the Web accessible to people with a spectrum of visual, hearing, movement, reading, and processing abilities by providing a spectrum of alternatives and transformations. Web accessibility is not "making the Web accessible for people who are blind" by providing text-only sites. For example, while speech synthesis of text is useful to some people with learning disabilities, it doesn't help everyone. Some people find it difficult to process visual information, such as text, and need symbols, summaries, or illustrations to facilitate comprehension.

There are a variety of issues and opportunities that we have discussed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG). Metadata for content adaptation provides a solution to many of the technical questions and perhaps some of the policy questions as well.

I would like to attend the workshop to

  1. Explain and learn how content adaptation will benefit Web accessibility
  2. Raise awareness about issues in Web accessibility that ought to be considered while developing metadata for content adaptation
  3. Demonstrate and learn about the similarities and differences between techniques and user scenarios that the DIWG and WAI WGs face

Summary points (incomplete)

WAI Guidelines and how they relate to content adaptation

Examples of existing projects


Historically, the preference for making content accessible is direct accessibility provided by the content originator or aggregator. In the future, metadata could be provided after-the-fact by third-party annotations. There are opportunities as well as issues with this direction.

Responsibility issues

Implementation issues


$Date: 2005/09/05 08:45:47 $ Wendy Chisholm