Accessibility Guidelines Working Group Charter

The mission of the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is to develop specifications to support making implementations of web technologies accessible for people with disabilities, and to develop and maintain implementation support materials.

Join the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group.

This proposed charter is available on GitHub. Feel free to raise issues.

Start date 20 December 2019
End date 31 October 2022
Charter extension See Change History.
Chairs
  • Alastair Campbell (Nomensa)
  • Andrew Kirkpatrick (Adobe)
Team Contacts
  • Michael Cooper (0.35 FTE primary AG WG team contact [external funds])
  • Shadi Abou-Zahra (0.20 FTE for ACT TF [external funds])
  • Shawn Lawton Henry (0.05 FTE for Low Vision TF [external funds])
  • Roy Ran (0.05 FTE for COGA TF and 0.05 FTE for Mobile TF [Member funds])
Additional Team Support
  • Shadi Abou-Zahra (0.05 FTE for standards harmonization [external funds])
  • Judy Brewer (0.05 FTE for standards harmonization [external funds])
  • Roy Ran (0.05 FTE for standards harmonization [Member funds])
  • Steve Lee (0.5 FTE for COGA TF resource development [external funds])
  • Daniel Montalvo (0.2 FTE for ACT TF resource development [external funds])
  • Hidde de Vries (0.3 FTE for WCAG and ATAG supplemental guidance development [external funds])
Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: we will meet 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

The group will:

Out of Scope

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

  • The AG WG is not required to be the central repository for accessibility support data.
  • The AG WG does not perform conformance evaluations and reviews.
  • The AG WG does not give guidance on non-web technologies; however, it may cite examples outside the web scope.

Success Criteria

In order to advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have at least two independent implementations of each of feature defined in the specification.

Each specification should contain a section detailing all known security, privacy, and internationalization implications for implementers, Web authors, and end users.

There should be sufficient techniques and tests for each specification, starting from the earliest drafts. To promote interoperability, all changes made to specifications should have tests.

Deliverables

More detailed milestones and updated publication schedules are available on the group publication status page.

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 will deliver the following W3C normative specifications:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.2

This specification defines updated guidelines to make web content and applications accessible to people with disabilities, updating WCAG 2.1 with additional guidance to better address needs for users with low vision or cognitive disabilities, and users of touch and mobile interfaces. Candidate Success Criteria will be vetted according to careful WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion Acceptance Criteria and follow a methodical and consistent working process.

Draft state: Editor's Draft

Expected completion: Q4 2020

New standard to succeed WCAG 2.x based on the work of the Silver Task Force (name to be decided)

This specification creates a new framework and guidelines to make web content and applications accessible to people with disabilities, supporting a wider set of user needs, using new approaches to testing, and allowing more frequent maintenance of guidelines to keep pace with accelerating technology change. Each guideline in the new standard will focus on user needs rather than structural features or types of content, and will be supported by technology-specific methods to meet that need. Content that conforms to WCAG 2.2 is expected to substantially conform to a conformance level of the new standard, though the new standard is expected to have many differences from WCAG 2.x. Since the new standard will use a different conformance model, the Working Group expects that some organizations may wish to continue using WCAG 2.x, while others may wish to migrate to the new standard. For those that wish to migrate to the new standard, the Working Group will provide transition support materials, which may use mapping and / or other approaches to facilitate migration.

Draft state: Editor's Draft

Expected completion: Q2 2023 (Note: this is a projected date after the expiry of this charter and will be revised in a subsequent charter based on progess.)

Other Deliverables

Other non-normative documents may be created such as:

Timeline

  • January 2020: First Public Working Draft of WCAG 2.2
  • February 2020: First Public Working Draft of the new standard
  • May 2020: WCAG 2.2 Candidate Recommendation
  • November 2020: WCAG 2.2 Recommendation
  • April 2022: Candidate Recommendation of the new standard
  • April 2023: Recommendation of the new standard (Note: this is a projected date after the expiry of this charter and will be revised in a subsequent charter based on progess.)

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

Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group
Provide input into other W3C groups on accessibility requirements.
ARIA Working Group
Review and help develop WCAG 2.x Techniques for WAI-ARIA.
Cascading Style Sheets Working Group
Advise on WCAG conformance interpretations of CSS features.
Publishing Working Group
Coordinate on accessibility guidelines that impact digital publishing.
Education and Outreach Working Group
Coordinate on making WCAG 2.x usable by a wider audience, on developing or reviewing strategies and materials to increase awareness and to educate Web community about WCAG 2.x.
Internationalization Working Group
Ensure that references to internationalization techniques are correct, and to ensure that language can be translated successfully.
Mobile Web Initiative
Explore relationship between Mobile Web best practices and WCAG 2.x, and applicability of WCAG 2.x to content displayed on mobile devices.
WAI Interest Group
Provide input on group deliverables and explore ideas for consideration and further development.

External Organizations

This section is a non-exclusive list of organizations that may take up WAI guidelines into policies. The Working Group seeks to develop standards that can be incorporated into policies globally and expects to accomplish this through broad review and involvement. AG WG will liaise with these organizations at key stages but recommends direct participation in the Working Group where possible.

U.S. Access Board
Review of specification
Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization which may administer C-81 the Accessible Canada Act
Review of specification
European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
Establish liaison with the ETSI Human Factors Technical Committee for collaboration and specification review.
European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
Review of specification
European Commission
Review of specification
National Information Society Agency (NIA)
Review of specification
RERC for the Advancement of Cognitive Technologies
Review of specification
RERC on Universal Interface and Information Technology Access
Review of specification
Chinese Disabled People's Federation (CDPF)
Review of specification
Japanese Industry Standards Organization (JIS)
Review of specification

Participation

To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 15 or more active participants for its duration, including representatives from the key implementers of this specification, and active Editors and Test Leads for each specification. The Chairs, specification Editors, and Test Leads are expected to contribute four hours per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other Participants.

Key implementers of WCAG (desktop and non-desktop environments) include Web content developers (page authors, site designers, etc.), Web authoring tool developers, Web accessibility evaluation tool developers, user agent tool developers, and people with disabilities.

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.

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

Most Accessibility Guidelines Working Group teleconferences will focus on discussion of particular specifications, and will be conducted on an as-needed basis.

This group primarily conducts its technical work on the public mailing list w3c-wai-gl@w3.org (archive) or on GitHub issues. The public is invited to review, discuss and contribute to this work.

The group may use a Member-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). Typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required.

However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress and consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs may call for a group vote and record a decision along with any objections.

The Working Group maintains specific procedures to establish and measure consensus and address objections in the AG Working Group Decision Policy.

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 normative deliverables and the W3C Software and Document license for informative deliverables.

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.

Charter History

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

Charter Period Start Date End Date Changes
Initial Charter 6 October 1997 <not set> Develop Understanding Web Access Issues, later named Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0; document supporting quicklists.
Rechartered 2001 18 June 2001 May 2002, extended to June 2004 Add WCAG 2.0 and supporting techniques to its deliverables.
Rechartered 2005 1 January 2005 31 December 2006; extended to 30 April 2007, 31 December 2007, 30 June 2008, 31 December 2008, 30 June 2009, 9 August 2009 Incorporation of Quality Assurance (QA) Framework into its mission; updated descriptions of supporting deliverables for WCAG 2.0, especially including test suites and implementation reports; updated dependency statements; updated language where necessary to align with June 2003 W3C Process Document.
Rechartered 2010 14 September 2010 30 June 2013; extended to 30 September 2013, 18 May 2015, 15 July 2015, and 24 September 2015 Transitioned to maintain support resources for WCAG 2.0.
Rechartered 2015 24 September 2015 31 July 2018 Added recommendation-track work in the form of extensions to WCAG 2.0; increased focus on work to address needs related to mobile devices, cognitive impairments and learning disabilities,digital learning materials, and low vision; more work on accessibility support documentation and testing.
Rechartered 2017 27 January 2017 31 October 2019, extended to 31 December 2019

Changing from publishing normative extensions for multiple topics to a consolidated WCAG 2.1 and adding new publication for Accessibility Conformance Testing Framework 1.0.

Rechartered 2019 20 December 2019 31 October 2022 Added WCAG 2.2 and moved previously incubated Silver to Recommendation Track.