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WAI International Program Office Activity Statement

Given the vital role that the Web plays throughout society, it is essential to ensure that the Web is accessible to people with disabilities. Access to the Web can affect people with auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech, and visual disabilities. The solutions developed for web accessibility also benefit non-disabled people. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) International Program Office helps create a forum where representatives of industry, the disability community, research, and government work together to identify accessibility requirements and develop solutions under W3C Process.

WAI's International Program Office Activity includes the following groups:

Highlights Since the Previous Advisory Committee Meeting

The following are key highlights of the WAI International Program Office since the previous W3C Advisory Committee Meeting in June 2013, through October 2013.

Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG)

Between November 2013 and May 2014, EOWG continued developing materials to promote accessibility and to support other WAI groups, and reviewing the deliverables of other WAI Working Groups for understandability, approachability, and ease-of-use. Particular highlights include the following:

Research and Development Working Group (RDWG)

RDWG continued to organize WAI Research and Development Symposia and develop Research Reports as Working Group Notes as output from these symposia. Most recent and upcoming symposia include:

RDWG invites Working Groups, W3C Members, and others interested in web accessibility research and development to contribute research topics for exploration. More information about RDWG and its online symposia is available in the RDWG Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

WAI Interest Group (WAI IG)

WAI staff continued to engage the WAI IG community by providing regular updates on WAI work through WAI Highlights available as RSS feeds, Twitter messages, and WAI Interest Group e-mails. WAI Chairs and Working Group participants monitor WAI IG discussion for feedback on their work and participate in discussions as appropriate.

As the WAI-Engage Community Group develops, we plan to encourage engagement of WAI IG participants in WAI-Engage.

WAI Coordination Group (WAI CG)

WAI Working Group Chairs and Staff Contacts met and coordinated regularly through WAI CG on key topics. Particular focus was put on coordinating on addressing accessibility requirements in HTML5 development; coordination joint activities on addressing mobile accessibility and accessibility for people with cognitive and learning disabilities.

International Promotion, Standards Harmonization, and Outreach

Additionally, WAI staff conducted promotion, standards harmonization, and outreach activities, some of which are listed below.


Standards coordination and promotion:

WAI staff monitored developments, provided comments, and maintained dialog on the development of technical requirements for web accessibility, in particular on EC Mandate 376 and the proposed EC Directive on Web Accessibility.

WAI staff also promoted and supported the development of translations for WAI documents. In particular to promote the development of Authorized Translations for WCAG 2.0, that are currently available in 11 languages.

WAI-ACT Project

The EC-funded WAI-ACT Project continues to develop technical and educational resources through WAI Working Groups. More information is available in the WAI-ACT Project Deliverables.

Upcoming Activity Highlights

The following are key highlights of the WAI International Program Office for the upcoming period:

Summary of Activity Structure

GroupChairTeam ContactCharter
Education and Outreach Working Group
Shawn HenryShawn HenryChartered until 30 September 2013
Research and Development Working Group
Simon HarperShadi Abou-ZahraChartered until 30 September 2013
WAI Coordination GroupJudy BrewerShadi Abou-ZahraChartered until 30 September 2013
WAI Interest GroupShawn HenryShawn HenryChartered until 30 September 2013

This Activity Statement was prepared for AC 2014 per section 5 of the W3C Process Document. Generated from group data.

Shadi Abou-Zahra, WAI International Program Office Activity Lead

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