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(Revised) WAI Authoring Tool Guidelines Working Group Charter


  1. Mission
  2. Scope
  3. Duration
  4. Deliverables
  5. Dependencies of other groups on this group's deliverables
  6. Dependencies of this group on other groups' deliverables
  7. Intended degree of confidentiality
  8. Relation to other groups
  9. Milestones for work items & deliverables
  10. Meeting mechanisms & schedules
  11. Communication mechanisms
  12. Voting mechanisms
  13. Level of involvement of Team
  14. W3C staff contact
  15. Estimate of time commitment a group member would have to make in order to participate
  16. Participants
  17. How to join

1. Mission

To complete the development of accessibility guidelines for authoring tools, and to perform an initial assessment of implementation of these guidelines by authoring tool manufacturers. These guidelines should address how authoring tools can:
  1. provide author support for creating accessible Web documents;
  2. ensure an accessible user interface for authors with disabilities.
The Authoring Tool Guidelines Working Group (AUWG) was originally chartered in December, 1997. The AUWG has produced several Working Drafts, and needs additional time to bring the document to Proposed Recommendation and to assess implementation after the document becomes a Recommendation. Several factors should combine to move the work at a more rapid pace under the renewed charter: clearer expectations for working group member participation; increased W3C staff resources that have been allocated to the group; the foundation Public Working Draft that is available; and the revised & clearer charter itself.

2. Scope

2.1 Scope of AUWG work

The scope of the AUWG's work is tools which are used to produce Web content. These include:
  1. Editing tools specifically designed to produce Web content (e.g. WYSIWYG HTML editors, and potentially CSS editors)
  2. Tools which offer the option of saving material in a Web format (e.g. word processors or desktop publishing packages)
  3. Tools which translate documents into Web formats (e.g. from PDF to HTML)
  4. Tools which produce multimedia, especially where it is intended for use on the Web (e.g. video production and editing suites)
  5. Tools for site management or site publication (including on-the-fly conversion and Web site publishing tools)
  6. Tools for management of layout (e.g. CSS formatting tools).

2.2 Criteria for success

Criteria for success include:

3. Duration of work items

The AUWG is expected to continue for nine months, through October, 1999.

4. Deliverables

The primary deliverable is the WAI Authoring Tools Guidelines, as Working drafts, Proposed Recommendation, and W3C Recommendation. In addition, the AUWG will produce an initial assessment of the implementation of the WAI Authoring Tool Guidelines.

5. Dependencies of other groups on this group

5.1. Groups which will use deliverables

  1. The AUWG's key deliverable, the Authoring Tool Guidelines, will be used by the WAI Education and Outreach Working Group in promoting development of authoring tools which produce accessible Web content.
  2. The Amaya Activity will use the Authoring Tool Guidelines as a reference for building accessibility into Amaya.

5.2 Liaison Methods

The Chair of the AUWG is a member of the WAI Coordination Group (CG) which is made up of chairs of all the WAI groups and two or more at-large representatives of the WAI IG.

6. Dependencies of this group on other groups

6.1 Groups on whose work this activity explicitly depends:

WAI Page Authoring Guidelines Working Group
The Page Author Guidelines WG is developing guidelines for accessible Web sites, which the Authoring Tool Guidelines describe how to implement in authoring tools. The Page Author Guidelines must have a high degree of stability before the Authoring Tool Guidelines are completed.
WAI User Agent Guidelines Working Group
The User Agent Guidelines Working Group addresses issues that are common to the Authoring Tool Guidelines, such as accessibility of the user interface, and approaches in these two documents must be coordinated.
WAI Interest Group
The WAI Interest Group will review AUWG working drafts before they become Public Working Drafts, or a Proposed Recommendation.

7. Intended degree of Confidentiality

The AUWG home page, proceedings, and charter are all public.

8. Relation to other groups

8.1 Relation to W3C Groups

  1. WAI Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG) is the WAI WG which most closely coordinates with other W3C groups on technical issues. The AUWG's coordination with other W3C groups is primarily through the PFWG and the WAI Coordination Group.
  2. WAI Evaluation and Repair Working Group and Interest Group is developing tools which include retrofitting Web sites to increase their accessibility. They will reference the AU Guidelines or coordinate with AUWG as necessary.
  3. The Amaya Activty will model and test solutions as well as contribute to guidelines development.
  4. CSS, HTML and SYMM will coordinate on implementation tracking.
  5. AUWG will coordinate with SYMM on strategies for authoring accessible multimedia objects; with Math on strategies for authoring accessible MathML; and with SVG on strategies for authoring accessible graphics.

8.2 Relation to External Groups

It is anticipated that this Working group will draw together both members and expertise from other groups:

9. Milestones for work items and deliverables

As with other WAI groups, AUWG's deliverables must first be reviewed by the WAI Interest Group before being posted on the W3C Technical Reports page or sent to the W3C Advisory Committee (AC) for review. The minimum WAI IG review period is one week, after which the AUWG must review & incorporate WAI IG comments. The proposed milestones below assume that the documents go to the WAI Interest Group for review 15 days before these dates.

Proposed milestones are as follows:

  1. January 22, 1999: New Public Working Draft for TR page (Version #2)
  2. March 1, 1999: New Public Working Draft for TR page (Version #3)
  3. April 12, 1999: Third Public Working Draft for TR page (Version #4)
  4. May 24, 1999: Fourth Public Working Draft for TR page (Version #5) & sent to W3C Chairs for "Last Call."
  5. June 21, 1999: Sent to W3C AC as a Proposed Recommendation.
  6. July 21, 1999: AC's PR review period closes.
  7. July 31, 1999: WAI Authoring Tool Guidelines become a Proposed Recommendation.
  8. September 30, 1999: AUWG summarizes initial implementations of the AU Guidelines & proposes a subsequent Working Group as needed.

10. Meeting mechanisms & schedules

The AUWG will hold regular face-to-face meetings, which are likely to be bi-monthly. Where practicable these will be held in conjunction with other WAI face-to-face meetings or with an event where WAI IG members gather. AUWG meetings are announced to W3C Member organizations through the Member Events Calendar and the Member Newswire; to AUWG participants through the AUWG mailing list; to WAI IG participants via the WAI IG mailing list; and to the general public via the WAI home page.

11. Communication mechanisms

11.1 Communication within the group

The primary fora for AUWG discussion are the AUWG mailing list, and regular (weekly to fortnightly) teleconferences. As an alternative to teleconferences the group will trial the use of an Internet-based chat system, which will provide logging of the session. If the group unanimously feels that this is an improvement it may be adopted in place of some scheduled telephone conferences.
  1. AUWG mailing list
  2. Publication of minutes or log files for all meetings
  3. AUWG Working Group home page
  4. Face-to-face and teleconference meetings

11.2 Communication with W3C

  1. AUWG coordinates with other WAI working groups through the WAI Coordination Group;
  2. AUWG coordinates with W3C through the WAI Domain Leader;
  3. The WAI Domain Leader communicates about W3C and WAI activities through postings to WAI IG;
  4. WAI groups report to the WAI IG at quarterly face-to-face meetings.

11.3 Communication with the public

AUWG communicates with the public through the AUWG home page and general W3C communication mechanisms.

12. Voting mechanisms and Escalation

13. Level of involvement of Team

14. W3C staff contact

15. Estimated time and effort commitments a group member would have to make in order to participate

It is expected that participants would need to commit 3-6 hours per week, including meetings other than face to face meetings.

Participants are expected to attend teleconferences and meetings, or send regrets to the chair at least one day in advance of teleconferences, one week in advance of face-to-face meetings. Participants are expected to respond in a timely manner to discussion taking place on the email list. Participants are also expected to maintain up-to-date familiarity with the WAI Page Authoring and User Agent Guidelines, as Working Drafts as well as Recommendations.

16. Participants

As the Web Accessibility Initiative is a multi-stakeholder/partnership project, it is critical that different stakeholders in Web accessibility are represented on the AUWG group. These include:

17. How to join

To join the working group please complete the following information and return by email to wai-au-call@w3.org.


First Name:

Last Name:

Email Address

Telephone Number

Employer / Organisation:

Area of interest:
(Non W3C members please state area of expertise)

I have read the charter for this group, and agree to participate as per the charter

Intellectual Property Rights (check one):

[ ] To the best of my knowledge, I believe my organization does not have any IPR claims regarding guidelines for the accessibility of authoring tools.

[ ] To the best of my knowledge, I believe my organization has the following IPR claims regarding guidelines for the accessibility of authoring tools. (Please specify)


Jutta Treviranus, Charles McCathieNevile,  Judy Brewer

9 February 1999

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