User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

W3C Recommendation 17 December 2002

This version:
Latest version:
Previous version:
Ian Jacobs, W3C
Jon Gunderson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Eric Hansen, Educational Testing Service
Authors and Contributors:
See acknowledgements.

Please refer to the errata for this document, which may include some normative corrections.

This document is also available in these non-normative packages: single HTML [427K] (gzipped [88K]), gzip tar file of HTML [215K], and zip archive of HTML [226K].

See also translations of this document.


This document provides guidelines for designing user agents that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities (visual, hearing, physical, cognitive, and neurological). User agents include HTML browsers and other types of software that retrieve and render Web content. A user agent that conforms to these guidelines will promote accessibility through its own user interface and through other internal facilities, including its ability to communicate with other technologies (especially assistive technologies). Furthermore, all users, not just users with disabilities, should find conforming user agents to be more usable.

In addition to helping developers of HTML browsers and media players, this document will also benefit developers of assistive technologies because it explains what types of information and control an assistive technology may expect from a conforming user agent. Technologies not addressed directly by this document (e.g., technologies for braille rendering) will be essential to ensuring Web access for some users with disabilities.

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. The latest status of this document series is maintained at the W3C.

This is the 17 December 2002 Recommendation of "User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0." This document has been reviewed by W3C Members, the disability community, software developers, and other W3C groups and interested parties, and has been endorsed by the Director as a W3C Recommendation. It is a stable document and may be used as reference material or cited as a normative reference from another document. W3C's role in making the Recommendation is to draw attention to the specification and to promote its widespread deployment. This enhances the functionality and interoperability of the Web.

This document was produced by the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (UAWG). The goals of the UAWG are described in UAWG charter. The complete list of changes to this document is available on the Web.

The UAWG also provides additional resources to support this document (e.g., Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about UAAG 1.0, implementation reports, and test suites). Please consult the UAWG home page for more information.

Patent disclosures relevant to this specification may be found on the Working Group's patent disclosure page in conformance with W3C policy.

The list of errata for this document is available at http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/UAAG-errata. Please report errors in this document to wai-uaag-editor@w3.org.

Please send other comments about this document to the public mailing list w3c-wai-ua@w3.org; public archives are available.

The English version of this document is the authoritative version. Translations into other languages may be available at http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/UAAG-translations.

This document is part of a series of accessibility documents published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WAI Accessibility Guidelines are produced as part of the WAI Technical Activity.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at the W3C Web site.

Table of contents

Note: With a user agent that implements HTML 4 [HTML4] access keys, readers may navigate directly to the table of contents via the "c" character. Users may have to use additional keyboard strokes depending on their operating environment.