Change Log

Unified Web Accessibility Guidelines

Last updated January 20, 1998


Changes between version 7.2 and 8

  1. This is the last official Trace guidelines.  Version 8 is being used as the working draft for the WAI's guidelines.
  2. Change in format
    1. Created a "5+1" layer approach: 
      1. Web Access: Why Is It Important? (in 2 pages or less)
        A brief introduction to the issues around web access for executives responsible for websites
      2. Understanding Disabilities and Web Access Issues
        A discussion of the different types of disabilities and their effect on access to the web
      3. A series of Check Lists
        • Checklist for web authors - about two printed pages
        • Checklist for user agent (browser) developers
        • Checklist for web server developers
        • Checklist for web tool developers
      4. A series of Guidelines
        • Guidelines for web authors - about six printed pages
        • Guidelines for user agent (browser) developers
        • Guidelines for web server developers
        • Guidelines for web tool developers
      5. The Unified Website Access Guidelines Master Document
        The melting pot of issues and guidelines for all of the previously listed groups.
      6. Web Access Resource Site
        A website containing extended discussions, case studies, demonstrations, tools, references to other guidelines and efforts related to web access, etc.
    2. Version 7.2 is the basis for the master document.  The author guidelines are similar to previous versions of the "Quick Reference" with more examples and several new guidelines.  The check lists are a new development.
    3. The final layer, the resource area, is still under development.
  3. Lots of new guidelines, examples and information.  Every section has been revamped.


Log of changes to version 8

This is not a complete list of all changes made, there have been so many (smile) but it covers the major ones.


Language information and text direction



Applets (and Scripts)

Video and Audio

  • Deleted
  • Links




    Tips and Tricks

    Structure and Navigation ( renamed to "Good Web Site Design Practices")

    Created new section (Tips and tricks to further enhance the usability of pages)



    Version 8 open issues


    1. "Visual notifications are provided for all sounds that are played automatically." To be handled by the browser? However, need a spot for the author to include what will be displayed by the browser (like the alt for images).
    2. "For very short sounds, a brief description is included in the link to the sound file using the TITLE attribute."
    3. affect of SMIL on guidelines for a/v. SMIL handle streaming a/v??

    Alternative text

    1. "Alternate text is provided for all images and image maps." We still need to figure out how to handle decorative.
    2. Leonard Kasday's group has created page with some examples and suggestions for alt-text available at text.html based on their survey data gathered February of 1997.
    3. We're in the midst of gathering the comments from the wai listservs and others. ml

    Misc other questions

    1. What do we do RE XML??  what was the consensus on this?
    2. What recommendations should we make in the guidelines for using meta data and/or LINK, and RDF?
    3. Should we add recommendations in regards to grouping rows (w/thead, tfoot and tbody), grouping columns (colgroup and col)??  We've include info about scope and headers for including meta information about cells,  the groupings are important also.
    4. What should be our priorities for Dynamic Pages? Should a working group be created? People seemed to think it was an issue, but we didn't hear a particular ruling on creating a subgroup.
    5. Education and Outreach should decide which audiences we want to target with 2 Page Introductions (such as managers, teachers...)
    6. We will not decide on the recommendation "All images used as anchors have descriptive titles"  until we see what browsers are doing today (and how alt-text issue resolved).
    7. Ala Chetz Colwell: "Section 14.3 Viewing and interacting with images, Recommendations for authors, 3, paragraph 3. I like the suggestion that page authors who use D-links could include an explanation of what it represents, but this may fit better in Appendix A, Design notes, with a reference to the Appendix in the guideline." left as is for now.
    8. Also via Chetz: "10.1 Text formatting, Issues, Tags affected I (Chetz Colwell) like the idea of naming the relevant tags in each section. However, in this case perhaps they should be listed along with each Issue, rather than being listed at the end of all the Issues. This also applies to Section 11 (and others?)."
    9. Ala Daniel Dardailler - "[He'd] like to have the quick and check list in some sort of prioritized order, not just the header of the guideline doc. Some kind of top 5 and then the rest."
    10.   There is no recommendation regarding the <Q> element.  Should there be?