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Techniques for Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

W3C Note 19 August 2002

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Jutta Treviranus - ATRC, University of Toronto
Charles McCathieNevile - W3C
Jan Richards - University of Toronto
Gregory Rosmaita

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 document is published as an informative appendix to the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines. The document represents an attempt to make it clearer how to use the techniques for different types of tools.

For further information about Working Group decisions, please consult the minutes of AUWG Meetings.

This document has been produced by the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AUWG) as part of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The goals of the Working Group are discussed in the AUWG charter. The AUWG is part of the WAI Technical Activity.

Please send comments about this document to the public mailing list: w3c-wai-au@w3.org (public archives).

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents including Working Drafts and Notes can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR.

Table of Contents


How this document is organized

This document has been divided into a multi-part hypertext document to keep individual pages to a manageable size. There are publishing conventions used to identify various features and parts of the document. Some of these will be used to provide multiple views of the techniques - for example implementation techniques for a particular kind of tool, or references for particular techniques. Other conventions are used to ensure that this document is compatible with ATAG version 1.0 or will be compatible with ATAG wombat with a minimum of difficulty or change.

Applicability of techniques

Note on applicability of techniques: The following techniques are applicable to all kinds of authoring tools, including those that are insertable components of other authoring tools. For example, if an authoring tool for designing on-line courses (courseware) has a prefabricated chat facility that the instructor can drag onto their page, this component must comply with all the techniques for accessible output (guidelines 1-6) and accessible user interface (guideline 7).

Authoring tool categories

Note: For the purposes of these techniques, authoring tools may fall into one or more of the following categories. For example, an HTML authoring tool that allows the user to create JavaScript will fall under two categories, Markup Editing Tools and Programming Tools. A SMIL editor that includes a text-only view of the markup and a preview mode would be considered both a Markup Editing Tool and a Multimedia Creation Tool.

This draft is accompanied by a version without icons.

  1. Markup tools technique Markup Editing Tools: Tools that assist authors to produce markup documents. These include text-based and WYSIWYG markup editors for HTML, XHTML, SMIL, etc. and word processors that save in markup formats.
  2. Multimedia tools technique Multimedia Creation Tools: Tools that assist authors to create multimedia Web content without the author having control over the raw markup or code of the output format. These include multimedia production tools outputting SMIL or QuickTime as well as image editors, video editors, sounds editors, etc.
  3. Content tools technique Content Management Tools: Tools that assist authors to create and organize specific types of Web content without the author having control over the markup or programming implementation. Good examples include courseware in which the author is prompted to enter various information which is then displayed in a format determined by the tool. Note: If the tool allows the author to control the markup that is actually used to implement the higher-order content, then that functionality would be considered to be a Markup Editing Tool.
  4. Programming tools technique Programming Tools: Tools for creating all kinds of Web Applications, including Java applets, Flash, server and client-side scripts, etc. Also includes tools that assist authors to create markup languages (i.e. XML) and tools that assist authors to create user interfaces (i.e. UIML?).
  5. Conversion tools technique Conversion Tools: Tools for converting content from one format to another. This includes tools for changing the format of images, for conversion of other document formats to XHTML, for importing document formats and document management systems and servers.

Implementation techniques by guideline and checkpoint

  1. Support accessible authoring practices:
  2. Generate standard markup:
  3. Support the creation of accessible content:
  4. Provide ways of checking and correcting inaccessible content:
  5. Integrate accessibility solutions into the overall "look and feel":
  6. Promote accessibility in help and documentation:
  7. Ensure that the authoring tool is accessible to authors with disabilities:

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