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Request for Cross-Disability Review of WAI Guidelines

Last updated December 31, 1998
Judy Brewer, W3C/WAI Domain Leader
Intro | How to give input | Page Author Guidelines | User Agent Guidelines | Authoring Tool Guidelines | Get involved

We invite your review of WAI guidelines

(NOTE: Deadline for comments extended to January 22, 1999)

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an activity hosted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to make the Web accessible for people with disabilities. The W3C is a vendor-neutral industry consortium that develops the technologies (HTML, HTTP, etc.) that the Web runs on. The WAI coordinates with the W3C's technical working groups to make sure all the W3C's specifications support accessibility. The WAI also produces guidelines which promote Web accessibility.

The WAI has three sets of accessibility guidelines so far. All of them are in Working Draft status as of late December, 1998. Two of these will go as "Proposed Recommendations" to W3C Member Organizations within the next month or two. All three guidelines have been developed with input from industry, disability organizations, research organizations, and government.

Among disability organizations that have contributed to guidelines development, the strongest involvement has been from the blindness community, but there has also been some involvement from individuals or organizations with experience in different hearing, physical, or cognitive disabilities. We would like your feedback!

How to give input

The next several weeks are an important time for feedback. If you are interested in giving feedback, here's what to do:
  1. Familiarize yourself at least briefly with the Web Accessibility Initiative and with W3C, our host.
  2. Pick one or more sets of guidelines to review. You can mention if you are reviewing them from a specific perspective -- for instance, cognitive or learning disabilities, deaf or hard-of-hearing users, (please note that the vocabulary for different disabilities varies from country to country, so in some cases you may want to explain disability terminology you're using).
  3. Review the guidelines, and send your review comments to the appropriate list for that guideline's Working Group. Include in your comments the date/version that you are commenting on. Note the different deadlines for comments.
  4. If you want to get more involved in WAI work, check out additional group information on the home pages for the guidelines groups, and contact the Chair of the group you're interested in.
  5. That's it!  Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Page Author Guidelines

The WAI Page Author Guidelines describe how to write Web pages and sites so they are accessible to people with disabilities.

User Agent Guidelines

The WAI User Agent Guidelines provide guidance to manufacturers of browsers, multimedia players, and assistive technologies used with browsers, on how to ensure that the user interface is accessible and usable by people with disabilities; that the user agent renders information accessibly; and that there is compatibility between the browsers and assistive technologies such as screen readers.

Authoring Tool Guidelines

The WAI Authoring Tool Guidelines provide guidance to manufacturers of authoring tools (for example, HTML editors & generators, conversion tools, and site management tools) on how to ensure that the user interface is accessible, and that accessibility awareness (prompting, alerts, help files, validation) is integrated throughout the tools.

Get involved

If after reviewing WAI work, you're interested in getting involved, here are several ways to do so:
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