Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group Charter

The mission of the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group is to enhance the accessibility of web content through the development of supplemental attributes, including roles, states, and other properties, that can be applied to native host language elements and exposed via platform accessibility APIs.

Join the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group.

Start date 8 November 2018
End date 31 October 2021
Chairs Joanmarie Diggs (Igalia), James Nurthen (Adobe)
Team Contacts Michael Cooper (0.30 FTE Primary TC), Ruoxi Ran (0.1 FTE, Publication support, ARIA integration)
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: The Working Group and its Task Forces generally each hold weekly teleconferences, but this may vary over time according to agenda and preferences.
Face-to-face: The Working Group generally meets during the W3C's annual Technical Plenary week; additional face-to-face meetings may be scheduled by consent of the participants, usually no more than 3 per year.

Scope

Out of Scope

The following features are out of scope, and will not be addressed by this Working Group:

  • Technologies for which corresponding Accessibility API Mappings do not need to be defined.

Success Criteria

The normative documents produced by this Working Group fall into two categories: ARIA specifications and Accessibility API Mapping specifications.

  • For the ARIA specifications, implementability and interoperability of every feature will be demonstrated by having at least two independent browser implementations of that feature. In addition, for the Accessibility API Mapping specification(s), each ARIA feature will be shown to have at least one implementation in each of: ATK/AT-SPI2, MSAA+IAccessible2, AXAPI, and UIAutomation.
  • Every effort will be made to take member organizations' schedules into account and to ensure all platforms are included. If needed, an Accessibility API Mapping specification will be split into platform-specific specifications, e.g. one for ATK/AT-SPI2, one for MSAA+IAccessible2, one for AXAPI, and one for UIAutomation. This will allow each platform's specification to progress along the Rec track at the timeline that best suits them. For specifications which are not split apart in this fashion, no platform will be dropped out of the specification without prior consultation with that platform's owners.

Modules that reach W3C Recommendation, are considered successful when all of the following are present:

  • Production of stable documents addressing the work items listed in the Deliverables section.
  • Test suites for each module with conformance criteria.
  • Availability of multiple, independent, interoperable implementations of each feature with conformance criteria in each deliverable; as demonstrated by an implementation report (summarizing implementation status against the relevant test suite) for each testable class of product, including user agents.
  • Deployment on multiple platforms.
  • User community and industry adoption of the group deliverables.

Deliverables

In order to maximize the likelihood of achieving the success criteria described above, the ARIA Working Group will follow a work flow designed to see each feature from its road map through to completion, with ARIA feature development, platform accessibility API mapping, implementation, testing, and authoring guidance taking place at the same time.

Draft state indicates the state of the deliverable at the time of the charter approval. Expected completion indicates when the deliverable is projected to become a Recommendation, or otherwise reach a stable state.

Normative Specifications

The Working Group develops two classes of specifications: Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) modules (which include the core ARIA specification), and Accessibility API Mappings (AAMs). ARIA modules define roles, states, and properties, to clarify the accessibility semantics of the element on which they are used. Roles are used in content as values of the role attribute, while states and properties are used in content as attributes whose name begins with the prefix "aria-". Accessibility API Mappings define how these features are exposed by user agents to accessibility APIs, which vary by platform, in order to ensure a consistent user experience across the Web. The Working Group will release versions of ARIA and AAM on a cyclical basis, and expects to produce multiple versions during the charter period. The Working Group may undertake additional modules that fit the definitions above to keep the ARIA technology complete and well organized. At charter time, this work includes:

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA)

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) provides an ontology of roles, states, and properties that define accessible user interface elements and can be used to improve the accessibility and interoperability of web content and applications. These semantics are designed to allow an author to properly convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies in document-level markup.

Draft state: Working Draft

Expected completion: Q4 2019 (1.2); Q4 2020 (1.3)

Adopted Working Draft: Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.2, 19 July 2018.

Reference Draft: Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.2, 19 July 2018. Exclusion period began 19 July 2018; Exclusion period ended 16 December 2018.

Produced under Working Group Charter: Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group Charter, 2015-2018.

Accessible Name and Description Computation

The Accessible Name and Description Computation specification describes how user agents determine the names and descriptions of accessible objects from web content languages. This information is in turn exposed through accessibility APIs so that assistive technologies can identify these objects and present their names or descriptions to users. Documenting the algorithm through which names and descriptions are to be determined promotes interoperable exposure of these properties among different accessibility APIs and helps to ensure that this information appears in a manner consistent with author intent.

This specification defines support that applies across multiple content technologies. This includes accessible name and description provided by general-purpose WAI-ARIA roles, states, and properties as well as features specific to individual content languages.

Draft state: Working Draft

Expected completion: Q4 2019 (1.2)

Adopted Working Draft: Accessible Name and Description Computation 1.1, 18 October 2018.

Reference Draft: Accessible Name and Description: Computation 1.1, 18 October 2018. Exclusion period began 19 June 2018; Exclusion period ended 18 August 2018.

Produced under Working Group Charter: Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group Charter, 2015-2018.

Core Accessibility API Mappings

The Core Accessibility API Mappings specification describes how user agents should expose semantics of web content languages to accessibility APIs. This helps users with disabilities to obtain and interact with information using assistive technologies. Documenting these mappings promotes interoperable exposure of roles, states, properties, and events implemented by accessibility APIs and helps to ensure that this information appears in a manner consistent with author intent.

This specification defines support that applies across multiple content technologies, including general keyboard navigation support and mapping of general-purpose roles, states, and properties provided in Web content via WAI-ARIA. Other Accessibility API Mappings specifications depend on and extend this Core specification for specific technologies, including native technology features and WAI-ARIA extensions.

Draft state: Working Draft Draft

Expected completion: Q4 2019 (1.2); Q4 2020 (1.3)

Adopted Working Draft: Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.2, 19 July 2018.

Reference Draft: Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.2, 19 July 2018. Exclusion period began 19 July 2018; Exclusion period ended 16 December 2018.

Produced under Working Group Charter: Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group Charter, 2015-2018.

Digital Publishing Accessibility API Mappings

This specification defines how user agents map the Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module markup to platform accessibility APIs. It is intended for user agent developers responsible for accessibility in their user agent so that they can support the accessibility content produced for digital publishing.

The implementation of this specification in user agents enables authors to produce more accessible digital publications, by conveying structural book constructs used by the digital publishing industry to assistive technologies. It does this by extending the Core Accessibility API Mappings and the Accessible Name and Description Computation specifications for user agents. It provides Accessibility API Mapping guidance for the roles defined in the Digital Publish WAI-ARIA Module.

N.B. The work to be done on this deliverable will depend on the plans of the Publishing Working Group, which develops and maintains the Digital Publishing WAI-ARIA Module. At the time of this writing, those plans remain unsettled. See this status update for more information.

Draft state: Editor's Draft

Expected completion: Q4 2019 (1.2)

The ARIA Working Group expects to work jointly with other Working Groups on many of the above deliverables, and may form joint task forces.

Working Group Notes

The Working Group will deliver the following W3C Working Group Notes:

WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices

This document provides readers with an understanding of how to use WAI-ARIA to create accessible rich internet applications. It describes considerations that might not be evident to most authors from the WAI-ARIA specification alone and recommends approaches to make widgets, navigation, and behaviors accessible using WAI-ARIA roles, states, and properties. This document is directed primarily to Web application developers, but the guidance is also useful for user agent and assistive technology developers.

Draft state: Editor's Draft

Expected completion: Q4 2019 (1.2); Q4 2020 (1.3)

Other Deliverables

As described above and in the work flow, the Working Group will create a test suite and implementation report for the specification. In addition, other non-normative documents may be created such as use case and requirement documents.

The Working Group also expects to collaborate with other groups which produce ARIA and/or Accessibility API Mappings specifications to ensure that all ARIA modules and Accessibility API Mappings specifications are consistent with one another regardless of the producer. These specifications may include:

Timeline

The following timeline is a target timeline and may be subject to change. The Working Group maintains a detailed project plan that provides more specific target dates, and updates to the timeline if needed.

  • Q1 2019: First Public Working Draft of Digital Publishing API Mappings 1.1
  • Q4 2019: Recommendation of WAI-ARIA 1.2
  • Q4 2019: Recommendation of Accessible Name and Description Computation 1.2
  • Q4 2019: Recommendation of Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.2
  • Q4 2019: Recommendation of Digital Publishing Accessibility API Mappings 1.1
  • Q4 2019: WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.2 published as Working Group Note
  • Q1 2020: First Public Working Draft of WAI-ARIA 1.3
  • Q1 2020: First Public Working Draft of Accessible Name and Description Computation 1.3
  • Q1 2020: First Public Working Draft of Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.3
  • Q1 2020: First Public Working Draft of WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.3
  • Q4 2020: Recommendation of WAI-ARIA 1.3
  • Q4 2020: Recommendation of Accessible Name and Description Computation 1.3
  • Q4 2020: Recommendation of Core Accessibility API Mappings 1.3
  • Q4 2020: WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.3 published as Working Group Note

Coordination

For all specifications, this Working Group will seek horizontal review for accessibility, internationalization, performance, privacy, and security with the relevant Working and Interest Groups, and with the TAG. Invitation for review must be issued during each major standards-track document transition, including FPWD and at least 3 months before CR, and should be issued when major changes occur in a specification.

Additional technical coordination with the following Groups will be made, per the W3C Process Document:

W3C Groups

Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group
Work on HTML 5 and ARIA Techniques for WCAG 2.1.
Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group
Collaborate on joint deliverables.
CSS Working Group
Coordinate media queries support for context awareness. Provide requirements for future WAI-ARIA support. Coordinate on general CSS accessibility topics.
Publishing Working Group
Coordinate development of digital publishing roles.
Internationalization Working Group
Coordinate how to address accessibility and internationalization in W3C specs.
Technical Architecture Group
Confirm the ARIA relationship to various host languages is interoperable and forwards-compatible.
Privacy Interest Group
Identify and resolve privacy implications of features of the technology that capture user environment information, particularly specific assistive technology being used, in order to customize the user experience.
SVG Working Group
Develop graphics role module and SVG Accessibility API Mappings..
Web Platform Working Group
Implementation of ARIA and HTML Accessibility API Mappings, coordinate development of APIs that address accessibility use cases, and work on other joint deliverables including Canvas 2D Context.

External Organizations

DAISY Consortium
Coordinate on publishing and math accessibility API mappings.
IMS Global Learning Consortium
Coordinate on features that impact e-learning and testing.
WHATWG
Coordination on integration of ARIA in HTML and Web Components.

Participation

To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 6 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementors of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute half of a working day per week towards the (Working|Interest) Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

The group encourages questions, comments and issues on its public mailing lists and document repositories, as described in Communication.

The group also welcomes non-Members to contribute technical submissions for consideration upon their agreement to the terms of the W3C Patent Policy.

Communication

Technical discussions for this Working Group are conducted in public: the meeting minutes from teleconference and face-to-face meetings will be archived for public review, and technical discussions and issue tracking will be conducted in a manner that can be both read and written to by the general public. Working Drafts and Editor's Drafts of specifications will be developed on a public repository, and may permit direct public contribution requests. The meetings themselves are not open to public participation, however, except by explicit one-time invitation from the chair(s).

Information about the group (including details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants, and meetings) will be available from the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group home page.

This group uses the public mailing list public-aria@w3.org (archive) and several GitHub repositories. Additional communication channels are also used. The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work.

The group may use a confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and members of the group, for member-only discussions in special cases when a participant requests such a discussion.

Decision Policy

This group will seek to make decisions through consensus and due process, per the W3C Process Document (section 3.3). The Working Group maintains specific procedures to establish and measure consensus and address objections in the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group Decision Policy. All decisions made by the group should be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available, or unless reopened at the discretion of the Chairs or the Director.

This charter is written in accordance with the W3C Process Document (Section 3.4, Votes), and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (Version of 5 February 2004 updated 1 August 2017). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis. For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

Licensing

This Working Group will use the W3C Document license for Recommendation track deliverables and the W3C Software and Document license for Note track deliverables and licensed non-TR publications.

About this Charter

This charter has been created according to section 5.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Changes from the previous charter (diff from previous charter):

Charter History

The following table lists details of important changes from the initial charter, per the W3C Process Document (section 5.2.3):

Charter Period Start Date End Date Changes
Initial Charter 22 October 2015 31 July 2018 none
Charter Extension 6 September 2018 31 October 2018 none
Rechartered 8 November 2018 31 October 2021
  • Clarified mission to focus exclusively on WAI-ARIA and Accessibility API Mappings (AAMs);
  • Clarified dependency on other groups for several ARIA modules;
  • Updated Success Criteria to describe successful testing procedure for ARIA and AAMs;
  • Removed User Context as a deliverable; the evolution of it, Pesonalization Semantics; is being transferred to the APA Working Group;
  • Produced annual dot-release publications of ARIA and supporting specifications beginning Q4 2019, with features prioritized according to the roadmap;
  • Adopted a concrete workflow for feature acceptance to add predictability to timelines;
  • Clarified participation and communication procedures;
  • Added licensing section to specify the W3C Document license for Recommendation-track deliverables and the W3C Software and Document license for others;
  • Staff effort increased from .25 FTE to .4 FTE to provide additional support for project management, inter-group coordination on related ARIA specifications, and publication.

Work in the scope of this group was previously carried out by the Protocols and Formats Working Group.