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Requirements and Change log for a "Beginners lexicon for WAI documents"

This page records change requests and changes made to the draft WAI Resource: Beginners lexicon for WAI documents. Please send additions or corrections to wai-eo-editors@w3.org.

Last updated on $Date: 2006/05/12 16:03:02 $ by $$

About the Lexicon/Glossary


The Education and Outreach Working Group is considering composing an "explanation for complex WAI terms" using clear and plain language, containing only approximately 30-40 most common words or concepts. This as an aid to translators and other people living in different regions or countries, being familiar with different synonyms of word or concepts used in WAI documents.

The WAI has a glossary of terms at http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/Glossary/printable.
The purpose of that glossary is to allow comparison of definitions, and potentially to provide a single glossary for all the accessibility guidelines. The various WAI working groups and individual readers of more than one guideline will benefit from a consistent use of terms.
The WAI glossary contains more then 500 words in total.

Primary audience

Secondary audience

Readers of WAI document not yet familiar with web accessibility and its terms.


The purpose of a "Beginners lexicon for WAI documents" is to aid translators by describing the meaning of (technical) terms with a 'WAI contextual meaning' used in the WAI documents.

An additional purpose is to aid people from various regions and countries to understand differently used wordings of accessibility issues. This lexicon will contain only 30-40 most common words or concepts; there should be no confusion with the WAI glossary.


To decide what words should be in the lexicon the following approach will be used:

The words or phrases will be primarily taken from WAI glossaries;
The words or phrases will be explained in clear and plain language.


The documents from which the lexicon entries will be drawn will be selected by a combination of parameters being:

Change log for the Lexicon overview

Recent changes and notes

Mintues from discussion at 27 February 2006 at France f2f and 28 Feb

Versions from discussion December 2005 at Australia f2f

from EOWG teleconference discussion on 3 June 2005:

Previous changes

According to suggestions I made the next changes: (2005/06/01)

- Link to ‘Translating WAI documents’ added in Related Pages section;

- All EOWG-agreed changes to the descriptions are done;

- Note for reviewers deleted since the descriptions are done;

- Section ‘How this Lexicon is organized’ deleted. According to the nature and form of the lexicon I think this section is not helping that much. Could be a matter of discussion within EOWG.

- One remark in a reviewers reaction concerning the Lexicon is not yet covered:
Alan is not happy with the title of the document. Beginners Lexicon for WAI documents. To him translators are not beginners. When discussing this title I suppose we thought in terms of a Lexicon to start with, not that translators are just beginners. An alternative title could be just "Lexicon for WAI documents" and in the introduction more about the real nature of this Lexicon.



The process of selecting and taking in words and explaining their meaning for the lexicon will be as follows:

  1. words or phrases will primarily be taken from existing glossaries;
  2. The explanation of the words in question will be examined for the use of clear and plain language;

If the explanation does not have clear and plain language and should be altered:


The lexicon will contain:

Format for Listings

Basic format:

Word or phrase [context or document(s) containing the word or phrase]


Some examples:

Device-dependent [WCAG20]

Used to describe event handlers that require a specific kind of input device. For example, onDblClick requires a mouse; there is no keyboard equivalent for double clicking. Input devices may include pointing devices (such as the mouse), keyboards, Braille devices, head wands, microphones, and others. Output devices may include monitors, speech synthesizers, and Braille devices. Scripting should be device-independent or provide multiple input and output options for different devices.

Audio Description also calleddescribed video or video description [UAAG10]

An audio description (called an "auditory description" in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 [WCAG10]) is either a prerecorded human voice or a synthesized voice (recorded or generated dynamically) describing the key visual elements of a movie or other animation. The audio description is synchronized with (and possibly included as part of) the audio track of the presentation, usually during natural pauses in the audio track. Audio descriptions include information about actions, body language, graphics, and scene changes.

Captions [UAAG10]

Captions are text transcripts that are synchronized with other audio tracks or visual tracks. Captions convey information about spoken words and non-spoken sounds such as sound effects. They benefit people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio (e.g., someone in a noisy environment). Captions are generally rendered graphically superimposed ("on top of") the synchronized visual track.

The term "open captions" generally refers to captions that are always rendered with a visual track; they cannot be turned off. The term "closed captions" generally refers to captions that may be turned on and off. The captions requirements of this document assume that the user agent can recognize the captions as such; see the section on applicability for more information.

Note: Other terms that include the word "caption" may have different meanings in this document. For instance, a "table caption" is a title for the table, often positioned graphically above or below the table. In this document, the intended meaning of "caption" will be clear from context.

Cascading Style Sheet (s) [High-Tech]

Style sheets describe how documents are presented on screens, in print, and even in spoken voice. Style sheets allow the user to change the appearance of hundreds of Web pages by changing just one file. A style sheet is made up of rules that tell a browser how to present a document. Numerous properties may be defined for an element; each property is given a value.

Content [ATAG10]

In this specification, the term "content " is used in two ways:

1. Content refers to the document object as a whole or in parts. Phrases such as "content type", "text content", and "language of content" refer to this usage. When used in this sense, the term content encompasses equivalent alternatives. Refer also to the definition of rendered content and other accessibility information.

2. Content refers to the content of an HTML or XML element, in the sense employed by the XML 1.0 specification ( XML, section 3.1): "The text between the start-tag and end-tag is called the element's content." Context should indicate that the term content is being used in this sense.