XHTML Access Module

Module to enable generic document accessibility

W3C Editor's Draft 06 June 2007

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Mark Birbeck, x-port.net Ltd.
Shane McCarron, Applied Testing and Technology, Inc.
Steven Pemberton, CWI/W3C®
T. V. Raman, Google, Inc.
Richard Schwerdtfeger, IBM Corporation

This document is also available in these non-normative formats: PostScript version, PDF version, ZIP archive, and Gzip'd TAR archive.

The English version of this specification is the only normative version. Non-normative translations may also be available.


The XHTML Access module defines an element that, when used in conjunction with other XHTML modules, enables a more robust accessibility model than that found in traditional HTML.

Status of This Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

This document is an internal editors draft for development purposes. However, its content is based upon mature materials from [XHTML2] and is therefore considered relatively mature.

This document has been produced by the W3C HTML Working Group (Members only) as part of the HTML Activity. The goals of the HTML Working Group are discussed in the HTML Working Group charter.

This document was produced by a group operating under the 24 January 2002 CPP as amended by the W3C Patent Policy Transition Procedure. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

Publication as a Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

Please report errors in this specification to www-html-editor@w3.org (archive). It is inappropriate to send discussion email to this address. Public discussion may take place on www-html@w3.org (archive).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This section is informative.

This document contains a single module designed to be used to help extend the scope of XHTML-family markup languages into new environments. It has been developed in conjunction with the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative and other interested parties. It is designed to provide a generic mechanism for defining the relationship between document components and well-known accessibility taxonomies.

2. Conformance Requirements

This section is normative.

The keywords "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

Note that all examples in this document are informative, and are not meant to be interpreted as normative requirements.

2.1. Document Conformance

XHTML Access is not a stand-alone document type. It is intended to be integrated into other host languages such as XHTML. A conforming XHTML Access document is a document that requires only the facilities described as mandatory in this specification and the facilities described as mandatory in its host language. Such a document must meet all the following criteria:

  1. The document MUST conform to the constraints expressed in Appendix A - Schema Implementation or Appendix B - DTD Implementation, combined with the constraints expressed in its host language implementation.

  2. If the host language is not in the XHTML namespace, and the host language does not incorporate these modules into its own namespace, then the document MUST contain an xmlns declaration for the XHTML RDFa namespace [XMLNAMES]. The namespace for XHTML Access Module is defined to be http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml. An example start tag of a root element might look like:


    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" >

2.2. Host Language Conformance

When XHTML Access is included in a host language, all of the facilities required in this specification MUST be included in the host language. In addition, the elements and attributes defined in this specification MUST be included in the content model of the host language. Finally, XHTML Access requires the availability of the Core Attribute Collection as defined in XHTML Modularization.

2.3. User Agent Conformance

A conforming user agent MUST support all of the features required in this specification.

3. XHTML Access Module

This section is normative.

This section is normative.

This module defines the access element.

Element Attributes Minimal Content Model
access Common, key, targetid, targetrole EMPTY

Implementations: XML Schema, XML DTD

3.1. The access element

The access element assigns an accessibility mapping to elements within a document. Actuating the shortcut results in the element gaining focus.


3.1.1. key = Character

This attribute assigns a key mapping to an access shortcut. An access key is a single character from the document character set. Note: Authors should consider the input method of the expected reader when specifying an accesskey.

Triggering an access key defined in an access element gives focus to the next element in navigation order from the current focus that has the referenced role or id value. Note that it is possible to associate additional event handlers with target which might then perform additional actions once focus is changed.

The invocation of access keys depends on the implementation. For instance, on some systems one may have to press the "alt" key in addition to the access key. On other systems, one generally has to press the "cmd" key in addition to the access key.

The rendering of access keys depends on the user agent. We recommend that authors include the access key in label text or wherever the access key is to apply. User agents should render the value of an access key in such a way as to emphasize its role and to distinguish it from other characters (e.g., by underlining it).

The Character assigned to a key, and its relationship to a role or id attribute, are a suggestion of the author. User agents may provide mechanisms for overriding, disabling, or re-assigning keys. In such user agents, user-specified assignments must take precendence.

3.1.2. targetid = IDREF

The targetid attribute specifies an IDREF of the target element for the associated event (i.e., the node to which the event should be delivered).

3.1.3. targetrole = QNames

The targetrole attribute specifies space separated list if QNames that maps to an element with a role attribute with the same value.

If no key attribute is specified, the user agent may assign an appropriate device mapping.

If a targetid and a targetrole are both specified for an element, the targetid attribute value must take precedence.

Access element that focuses into a field

<access key="s" 
        title="Social Security Number" 
        targetrole="ss:number" />

Accessing a table of contents

<access key="c"
        title="Table of Contents" 
        targetrole="toc" />

Access that moves to the main content

<access key="m"
        title="Main content" 
        targetrole="main" />

Access element that goes to a specific element

<access key="u" 
        targetid="username" />

Access element with no specific key mapping

<access title="Navigation bar" 
        targetrole="navigation" />

A. Schema Implementation

This appendix is normative.

The schema implementation of XHTML Access Module conforms to the requirements defined in [XHTMLSCHEMAMOD].

A.1. Access Element Module

Module SCHEMA/xhtml-access-1.xsd not found!

B. DTD Implementation

This appendix is normative.

The DTD implementation of XHTML Access Module conforms to the requirements defined in [XHTMLMOD]. Consequently, it provides a Qualified Names sub-module, and a module file for the XHTML Access Module module defined in this specification.

B.1. Qualified Names Module

Module DTD/xhtml-access-qname-1.mod not found!

B.2. XHTML Access Module

Module DTD/xhtml-hyperAttributes-1.mod not found!

C. DTD Markup Language Example

This appendix is informative.

This appendix includes an example of a markup language created using the modules in this specification, coupled with other modules from [XHTMLMOD]. The resulting markup language, "xhtml-access" is provided solely as an example, and does not represent an intended direction in terms of a formal markup language from the W3C.

The following sample demonstrates some simple uses of the access element within an xhtml-access document.

Module DTD/examples/sample.xml not found!

The actual markup language is created by combining the basics of XHTML 1.1 and the modules in this specification. This is done by using a content model module, and then a driver module:

C.1. XHTML+Access Content Model Module

Module DTD/examples/xhtml-access-model-1.mod not found!

C.2. XHTML+Access Driver Module

Module DTD/examples/xhtml-access-1.dtd not found!

D. References

This appendix is normative.

D.1. Normative References

"Key words for use in RFCs to indicate requirement levels", RFC 2119, S. Bradner, March 1997.
Available at: http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2119.txt
"Modularization of XHTML™ 1.1", W3C Working Draft, D. Austin et al., eds., 5 July 2006.
Available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-xhtml-modularization-20060705
The latest version is available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-modularization
"XHTML Role Attribute Module", W3C Working Draft, M. Birbeck et al., eds., 13 November 2006.
Available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/2006/WD-xhtml-role-20061113/
The latest version is available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-role
"Namespaces in XML", W3C Recommendation, T. Bray et al., eds., 14 January 1999.
Available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-xml-names-19990114
The latest version is available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-xml-names

D.2. Other References

"XHTML™ 2.0". J. Axelsson et al., 27 May 2005.
Available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-xhtml2-20050527
The latest version is available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2

E. Acknowledgments

This section is informative.

At the time of publication, the participants in the W3C HTML Working Group were: