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
(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
Have we adequately addressed the barriers that you find when accessing
the Web? For instance:
do the guidelines capture access strategies needed for people using voice
input, mouthstick, single-switch access, eyegaze, etc.?
do the guidelines reflect access requirements of people who have difficulty
understanding or navigating through a lot of text, or remembering where
they are in a document?
are there other issues which affect access to the Web for people with hearing,
physical or cognitive disabilities, and are not already adequately reflected
in the documents?
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:
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
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.
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.
That's it! Thanks in advance for your feedback.
Familiarize yourself at least briefly with the Web
Accessibility Initiative and with W3C,
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.
Deadline for comment: Tuesday, January 22, 1999, close of business
US Eastern Standard Time.
Latest draft to review:
Note that there is an accompanying techniques document linked near the
top of the guidelines draft, on which comment is also welcome.
Send your comments to the User
Agent Guidelines Working Group (UAWG)at <email@example.com>.
UAWG mailing list
archive. Do NOT feel you have to read everything in the archive before
UAWG home page includes contact
information for this working group's Chair.
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.
If after reviewing WAI work, you're interested in getting involved, here
are several ways to do so: