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Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) Overview

Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG)

The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) documents explain how to make authoring tools accessible to people with disabilities. Authoring tools are software that people use to produce Web pages and Web content. A primary focus of ATAG is defining how tools help Web developers produce Web content that conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

ATAG is part of a series of accessibility guidelines, including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG WG) and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). Interdependent Components of Web Accessibility explains the relationship between the different guidelines.

Who ATAG is for

ATAG is primarily for developers of authoring tools, including:

ATAG and supporting documents are also intended to meet the needs of many different audiences, including policy makers, managers, and others. For example:

Supporting documents are listed under ATAG 1.0 resources on this page, and other resources are listed on the WAI Guidelines and Resources page.

What is in ATAG 1.0

ATAG 1.0 contains 28 checkpoints that cover:

Technical document format

ATAG 1.0, the techniques documents, and the checklist follow the W3C format for technical specifications which includes at the beginning: version links, editors, copyright, abstract, and status with the link to errata and the email address for comments. Most WAI specifications have a link at the top to the Table of Contents.

ATAG Versions: 1.0 and 2.0

Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 was approved in February 2000 and is the stable and referenceable version.

ATAG 2.0 is being developed to be compatible with WCAG 2.0, which is under development, and WCAG 1.0, which is already a W3C Recommendation. WAI anticipates ATAG 2.0 may be completed in the first half of 2005. Because of the nature of the W3C specification development process, WAI cannot be certain when the final version of ATAG 2.0 will be available. Therefore, ATAG 1.0 will remain the latest approved version at least into the beginning of 2005.

Who develops ATAG

ATAG technical documents are developed by the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AUWG), which is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). For more information about the working group, see the AUWG page.

The W3C specification development process includes formal periods for public review. Opportunities for review and comment of WAI documents are announced on the WAI home page and WAI Interest Group mailing list. An email address for sending comments is included in the "Status of this Document" section.

Opportunities for contributing to ATAG and other WAI work are introduced in Participating in WAI.

Related Pages

ATAG 1.0 documents

ATAG 1.0 resources

ATAG 2.0 documents

Additional related, archived, and draft documents are listed in the WAI Site Map and through the AUWG page.