Editors Draft: $Date: 2011/06/23 00:03:25 $ [analysis
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The web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity - and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending.
—Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web
The web's usefulness and growth depends on its universality. We should be able to publish regardless of the software we use, the computer we have, the language we speak, whether we are wired or wireless, regardless of our sensory or interaction modes. The web must work with, and allow linking to, any form of information – a document or a data point – and with any quality of data – a jokey tweet or a scholarly paper. And we should be able to access the web from any kind of hardware that can connect to the Internet – stationary or mobile, small or large.
Brilliant new software for reading and writing the web is being created all the time, by all sorts of smart people, all over the world. You may indeed be one of these smart people; smart people, listening to each other, sharing ideas, and blending them together to result in even better ones. The W3C facilitates this listening and blending via international web standards. These standards ensure that all the crazy brilliance continues to improve a web that is open to us all.
Those who create the software that allows us to read and write the web have a noble vocation. Web standards help to ensure that these essential elements of the web work well together, indeed, allow the web to achieve its fullest potential. The W3C needs your help – firstly by trying to keep to those standards wherever possible, but also in continuously improving those standards for ourselves and for those who come after us.
For developers of software that reads the web for us - browsers, media players, publishing platforms, social networks, bots, aggregators, forums, media-sharing sites and other user agents - the accessibility standard is the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG).
For developers of software that writes the web for us - web site authoring tools and environments, CMSs, social media profile pages and apps, blogging tools and sites, microblogging tools, social bookmarks, forums, and video and photo sharing and more - the accessibility standard is the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG).