[DRAFT] Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group Charter

The mission of the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group (APA WG, formerly the Protocols and Formats Working Group), part of the WAI Technical Activity, is to ensure W3C specifications provide support for accessibility to people with disabilities. The group advances this mission through review of W3C specifications, technical support materials, and specifications that bridge known gaps.

This mission is complementary to the work of other Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) groups within the WAI Technical Activity and the WAI International Program Office Activity. The APA WG is part of the WAI Technical Activity.

Join the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group.

End date 31 December 2017
Confidentiality The group operates primarily in public but conducts some business in Member-only space.
Initial Chairs Janina Sajka
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 35)
Michael Cooper
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: approximately 2 per year


Success Criteria

Out of Scope

Education and evangelization outside of the W3C.


The following deliverables would be published as W3C Technical Reports and supporting resources. Accessibility API Mapping Guides fill the role previously filled by WAI-ARIA 1.0 User Agent Implementation Guide, modularized and developed on separate timelines to address multiple host languages.

Other Deliverables

  • Feedback to W3C specification developers;
  • Requirements for normative deliverables including future WAI-ARIA versions;
  • WAI-ARIA samples;
  • WAI-ARIA 2.0 Roadmap;
  • Contribute to WCAG 2.0 Techniques specific techniques for HTML 5 and ARIA (jointly produced with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group);
  • Gap analysis and roadmap for inclusion of people with cognitive disabilities.


Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group home page.
Specification FPWD CR PR Rec
WAI-ARIA 1.1 Feb 2014 Jul 2015 Jan 2016 Mar 2016
Digital Publishing Roles module Jun 2015 Dec 2016 Jun 2017 Aug 2017
Core Accessibility API Mappings Apr 2014 Jul 2015 Jan 2016 Mar 2016
Accessible Name Accessibility API Mappings Dec 2014 Jul 2015 Jan 2016 Mar 2016
HTML Accessibility API Mappings Mar 2015 Dec 2015 Jun 2017 Aug 2017
SVG Accessibility API Mappings Jan 2015 Jan 2016 Oct 2016 Dec 2016

A detailed plan to achieve these milestones, and known deviations from these initially chartered milestones, is documented in the APA WG Project Management Plan.


Dependencies on W3C Groups

CSS Working Group
Coordinate media queries support for context awareness, Provide requirements for future WAI-ARIA support. Coordinate on general CSS accessibiity topics.
Digital Publishing Interest Group
Coordinate development of digital publishing roles.
Internationalization Activity
Coordinate how to address accessibility and internationalization in W3C specs.
Implementation of ARIA and HTML Accessibility API Mappings, and work on other joint deliverables.
Independent User Interface (Indie UI) Working Group
Support for ARIA specification and design patterns, address use cases for Context awareness.
Implementation of ARIA and SVG Accessibility API Mappings..
Timed Text Working Group
Ensure Media Accessibility User Requirements are met in TTML.
WAI Coordination Group
Coordinating the roles of the WAI Working Groups.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group
Work on HTML 5 and ARIA Techniques for WCAG 2.0.

Furthermore, Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group expects to follow these W3C Recommendations:

Liaisons to External Groups

APA WG does not maintain formal liaisons to external groups, but does coordinate on an as-needed basis on topics of mutual relevance. At charter time, these organizations include:


To be successful, the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group is expected to have 10 or more active participants for its duration, with participation where possible including representation from industry including browser and assistive technology implementers, disability communities, and accessibility research. Effective participation in the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group is expected to consume four to eight hours per week for each participant; twice as much per week for chairs and editors. The Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group will allocate also the necessary resources for building Test Suites for each specification.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


The work of the Working Group primarily takes place on weekly teleconferences. This group uses the public mailing list public-pfwg@w3.org (public-pfwg archive) as its default for most work activity. Discussions that must be kept Member confidential because of dependencies on other Member-confidential work are on the mailing list w3c-wai-pf@w3.org (w3c-wai-pf archive). Discussions that involve a wider audience than the membership of the Working Group take place on the mailing list wai-xtech@w3.org (wai-xtech archive). Formal comments on APA WG Technical Reports may be sent to public-pfwg-comments@w3.org (public-pfwg-comments archive).

This group participates in the WAI Coordination Group. In the event that Coordination Groups are discontinued under W3C Process, it will continue to coordinate directly with other WAI groups.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the WAI home page as well as the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

When deciding a substantive technical issue, the Chair may put a question before the group. When the Chair conducts a formal vote to reach a decision on a substantive technical issue, eligible voters may vote on a proposal one of three ways: for a proposal, against a proposal, or abstain. For the proposal to pass there must be more votes for the proposal than against. In case of a tie, the Chair will decide the outcome of the proposal.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Please also see the previous charter for this group. A @@diff version between this charter and the previous charter is available. Primary changes in this charter:

Michael Cooper, APA WG Team Contact
Janina Sajka, APA WG Chair

$Date: 2015-02-19 15:04:42 $