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Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) Charter

This charter is written in accordance with section 3.2.3 of the W3C Process.

Table of Contents

  1. Mission
  2. Scope
  3. Duration
  4. Deliverables
  5. Success
  6. Schedule
  7. Confidentiality
  8. Coordination
  9. Communication
  10. Voting
  11. Participants

Information about how to join the Working Group

1. Mission

The mission of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) working group is twofold:

  1. to produce Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0;
  2. to document accessible techniques for W3C Recommendations (such as XML, RDF, SMIL, SVG, and MathML) as well as specific other Web technologies such as ECMA Script

as guidance for Web content authors and developers to create Web content that is accessible and usable by the widest audience possible.

These activities continue W3C's work on guidelines for creating accessible content that began with WCAG 1.0. The history of this group has been documented in the "End of Charter Report for the Web Content Guidelines Working Group." Also, refer to our previous charter.

This work is part of the WAI Technical Activity.

2. Scope

2.1 Focus of activities

The WCAG WG will:

2.2 Intended audience of deliverables

Since the release of WCAG 1.0, a number of readers have raised ease-of-use concerns with the format and language of WCAG 1.0, given diverse audiences which must rely on this document, including non-technical audiences. It has also become clear that authoring tool and user agent developers also form part of the technical audience of this document when implementing the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.

With regard to the WCAG WG's guidelines document, the Working Group will produce a document with sufficient technical precision to be used as a normative reference for Web content accessibility, and with language accessible to non-technical audiences. Ease-of-use considerations may be accomplished through layering multiple documents in a set, or by integrating understandable language throughout the document, or by some other means, but are a fundamental part of the guidelines document requirements.

3. Duration

The Working Group is scheduled for 18 months, from November 2000 through May 2002.

4. Deliverables

  1. Requirements document for the next version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
  2. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (W3C Recommendation) and supporting documents (Errata, translations to other languages, documentation of impact decisions, checklist of checkpoints).
  3. Revised and more comprehensive Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (W3C Note).
  4. User Agent Support for Accessibility (W3C Note)
  5. Ongoing documentation of open issues.
  6. Working Drafts of all Deliverables.
  7. Minutes from WCAG WG meetings.
  8. End of charter report: Discuss the accomplishments and impact of the working group, as well as further work that is needed, if any.

5. Success

To be considered successful, this Working Group must:

6. Schedule

A list of active working drafts is maintained by the chairs and staff contact. These drafts are maintained by editors assigned by the chair. Changes to editing assignments may be negotiated with the chair at any time.

All participants are encouraged to draft proposed text and techniques for active working drafts. Proposals should be sent to the mailing list for consideration by the working group.

The following schedules are expected to be followed:

A detailed, proposed timeline is available.

7. Confidentiality

Group proceedings, e-mail list, archives, charter, and deliverables are all public.

8. Coordination

This group coordinates activity with other WAI Working Groups through the WAI Coordination Group [Members only] and through the WAI's participation in the Hypertext Coordination Group [Members only].

8.1 Protocols and Formats

The WCAG working group develops guidelines to educate content developers about accessible authoring practices for HTML 4.0, CSS1 and CSS2, XML, SMIL, etc. This work relies on the investigations of the Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG) to lead us into the recent work of other W3C working groups. Once PFWG has identified or worked through an accessibility barrier with a specification, we should reflect the new information in our deliverables. For example, many of the XML and SVG authoring practices have been identified by PFWG. The Web Content Guidelines Working Group needs to incorporate these practices into the Techniques for WCAG document.

Likewise, the Protocols and Formats Working Group takes requirements for accessibility identified in this working group and negotiates with the relevant W3C groups where appropriate.

8.2 Authoring Tools

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines need to be usable by content authors and developers. Since many content authors are not technically savvy, the adoption of the guidelines is dependent on authoring tools that support WCAG authoring practices. Adoption of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines by authoring tool developers is a key step.

Likewise, the Authoring Tools Guidelines Working Group (AU) uses the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines as a core piece of the Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines.When needed, the WCAG WG clarifies points in WCAG 1.0 and reviews AU work to ensure that accessible authoring practices are supported.

8.3 User Agents

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are dependent on how user agents interpret markup as well as how well an assistive technology (where needed) is able to make use of content. Therefore, our work is also dependent on the adoption of the WAI User Agent Accessibility Guidelines.

Likewise, the User Agent Guidelines Working Group (UA) should address how to take advantage of content that conforms to WCAG 1.0. When needed the WCAG WG clarifies points in WCAG 1.0, and reviews UA work to ensure that accessible authoring practices are supported.

8.4 Evaluation and Repair Tools

Until WAI guidelines are widely adopted, the prototype tools identified, developed, or collected by the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG) will help promote the adoption of the guidelines by authors and users. Currently, the ERT WG is developing evaluation and validation tool techniques for each checkpoint in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Oftentimes, the ERT WG requests clarifications or interpretations of checkpoints.

8.5 Education and Outreach

Among its promotion and education work, the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) develops some promotional and educational materials based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and other WCAG WG deliverables. The EOWG relies on the WCAG WG to review any derivative promotional or educational material it produces that is based on WCAG or other WCAG WG deliverables. The WCAG WG relies on EOWG to help advise with regard to ease-of-use considerations around WCAG deliverables, particularly for its normative guidelines.

8.6 Mobile, TV and Internationalization

The WCAG working group needs to maintain contact with the W3C Mobile Activity, the TV/Web Activity and the W3C Internationalization Activity (I18N) as these groups develop content guidelines related to their activities. This contact should be coordinated through the WAI CG chair who also sits on the Hypertext CG, and through direct liaison with Mobile and I18N as needed.

8.7 Other W3C Groups

When developing techniques for other W3C specifications, WCAG WG's work may also require direct coordination with the following working groups or coordination groups. The following links are to the member only areas for each of these working groups.

8.8 External organizations

In addition, external organizations such as ISO, IEEE, national governments, corporations, etc., may reference the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Externally developed tools such as CAST's "Bobby" may use the guidelines as the basis for their site evaluation tools. Coordination with external groups referencing the guidelines is primarily through the WAI International Program Office. Coordination with groups using WCAG WG deliverables as the basis of evaluation or repair tools is shared between this group and the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group.

9. Communication

10. Voting

The Working Group will follow the W3C Process for consensus and votes (as described in the 11 November 1999 version). In case the Working Group is required to vote on a particular issue, each Member organization or technical expert's organization will have one vote.

11. Participants

Participants are expected to observe the requirements of the W3C Process for Working Groups. The following is an excerpt from the 11 November 1999 Process Document section 3.3.1:

Participation on an ongoing basis implies a serious commitment to the Working Group charter, including:

For this Working Group, the following commitment is expected:

Information about how to join the Working Group is available on the Web.

11.1 W3C Members

Participation in this working group is open to all employees of W3C member organizations.

11.2 Invited Experts

The following people who may not be employees of a W3C Member organization are invited to participate. Those who:

are invited to participate. Participation is subject to Chair approval.

11.3 W3C Team

11.4 Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

The purpose of the WCAG WG is to produce public documents available royalty-free to everyone, following W3C standard IPR terms. Therefore, anyone commenting in the WCAG WG will be considered to offer these ideas as contributions to the WCAG WG documents. Organizations with IPR in areas related to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or Techniques must disclose IPR as described in the W3C Process regarding IPR and W3C's IPR fact sheet. Invited experts are required to disclose IPR claims in the same manner as individuals from W3C Member organizations.

11.5 How to join

Information about how to join the Working Group

$Date: 2000/11/27 23:48:57 $ Judy Brewer, Wendy Chisholm

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