Contents | Guideline 1 | Guideline 2 | Guideline 3 | Guideline 4 | Appendix A: Prompting | Glossary | References


Implementation Techniques for
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

Group Working Draft 3 December 2002

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Latest version:
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Jutta Treviranus - ATRC, University of Toronto
Charles McCathieNevile - W3C
Jan Richards - ATRC, University of Toronto
Matt May - W3C

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 version of Techniques for Authoring Tool Accessibility is a working draft of an update to a W3C Note, published as an informative appendix to "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines". This document is a draft for Working Group review. It is intended that it will update the previous version of this Note but this draft does not represent consensus within the WAI Authoring Tools Guidelines (AUWG) Working Group, nor within W3C. This document is likely to change and should not be cited as anything other than "work in progress". The Working Group expects to update this document in response to queries raised by implementors of the Guidelines, for example to cover new technologies. Suggestions for additional techniques are welcome.

This document represents an attempt to make it clearer how to use the techniques for different types of tools. It begins the process of publishing the techniques as a multi-part hypertext document. It also begins the process, in its markup, of preparing for a techniques document to match the "wombat" drafts of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines.

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.

Please send comments about this document to the public mailing list: (public archives). Please note that this document may contain typographical errors. It was published as soon as possible since review of the content itself is important, although noting typographical errors is also helpful.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents including Working Drafts and Notes can be found at

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 on to their page, this component must comply with all the techniques for accessible authoring interface (guideline 1) and accessible Web content output (guidelines 2-7) and .

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 JavaScripts 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 is still tentative@@

  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

Guideline 1: Make the tool itself accessible

Ensure that the authoring tool is accessible to authors with disabilities:

Guideline 2: Enable the production of accessible content

Generate standard markup:

Support accessible authoring practices:

Guideline 3: Support the production of accessible content

Guide the author to produce accessible content:

Provide ways of checking for and correcting inaccessible content:

Promote accessibility in help and documentation:

Guideline 4: Integrate accessibility content related features

Integrate accessibility solutions into the overall "look and feel":

Other technique documents

Appendix A: Techniques for user prompting



Contents | Guideline 1 | Guideline 2 | Guideline 3 | Guideline 4 | Appendix A: Prompting | Glossary | References