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This document provides guidelines for designing user agents that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities (visual, hearing, physical, and cognitive). User agents include HTML browsers and other types of software that retrieve and render Web content. A user agent that conforms to these guidelines will promote accessibility through its own user interface and through other internal facilities, including its ability to communicate with other technologies (especially assistive technologies). Furthermore, all users, not just users with disabilities, are expected to find conforming user agents to be more usable.
In addition to helping developers of HTML browsers, media players, etc., this document will also benefit developers of assistive technologies because it explains what types of information and control an assistive technology may expect from a conforming user agent. Technologies not addressed directly by this document (e.g., technologies for braille rendering) will be essential to ensuring Web access for some users with disabilities.
This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. The latest status of this document series is maintained at the W3C.
This is the 8 July 2002 Working Draft of "User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0". Working Draft status is described in section 5.2.1 of the Process Document. This document incorporates the resolutions of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group to issues raised during the second Candidate Recommendation period for this document (which began in September 2001). The list of changes to this document includes information about modifications to checkpoints, conformance mechanisms, and other editorial clarifications. Most of the modifications to checkpoints were the result of the UAWG's discussions with developers over the past ten months.
As of the publication of this document, the UAWG has decided to keep some checkpoints for which there is little implementation experience. This revision of the document does not include that information, but the UAWG expects to make that information available at its Web site. The UAWG will continue to seek implementation experience for these checkpoints.
Publication as a Working Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than "work in progress."
Please send comments about this document to the public mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org; public archives are available.
This document is part of a series of accessibility documents published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WAI Accessibility Guidelines are produced as part of the WAI Technical Activity. The goals of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group are described in the charter.
A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at the W3C Web site.