[DRAFT] Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group Charter

The mission of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) is to develop guidelines to make Web content accessible for people with disabilities and to develop and maintain implementation support materials for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

This mission is complementary to the work of other Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) groups.

Join the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group.

End date 31 July 2018
Confidentiality Proceedings are Public.
Initial Chairs Andrew Kirkpatrick, Joshue O Connor
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 55)
Michael Cooper (45%)
Kenny Zhang (5%)
Eric Eggert (5%)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: 1-2 per year


Activities within the WCAG WG scope of work include:

  1. Support Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Recommendation:
    • Maintain errata for WCAG 2.0;
    • Maintain Understanding WCAG 2.0 for editorial issues and additional clarifications;
    • Maintain Techniques for WCAG 2.0 to add techniques and update applicability and sufficiency information;
    • Continue to expand and maintain techniques for implementing WCAG 2.0 across all web platforms including mobile;
    • Develop support materials as needed to explain the application of WCAG 2.0 to particular situations, e.g., cognitive accessibility, accessibility support, and applicability to devices such as e-books, mobile communications, tablets, automotive interfaces, Web-enabled television, etc. and across emerging technologies such as social networking, real-time communications, Web-based television viewing, etc.;
    • Respond to public comments on WCAG 2.0 and its support materials;
    • Publish alternate format versions of WCAG 2.0 to meet particular needs, such as PDF and zip / tgz files;
    • Better enable public interaction by improving feedback mechanisms and procedures;
    • Coordinate with other groups to support public awareness of WCAG 2.0 and how to use it;
    • Publish WCAG 2.0 Edited Recommendation to incorporate editorial errata only.
  2. Develop normative WCAG 2.0 extensions to address special topic areas as needed without changing the meaning of conformance to WCAG 2.0 on its own:
    • Explore specific user groups and industry verticals that have identified needs for concrete guidance, including but not limited to:
      • mobile devices,
      • cognitive impairments and learning disabilities,
      • digital learning materials,
      • low vision;
    • Ensure that extensions are optional and are not required for conformance to WCAG 2.0;
    • Ensure that while extensions may or may not redefine aspects of WCAG 2.0 within the context of the extension, extension work does not affect the validity of any current WCAG 2.0 claim;
    • Guidance for how WCAG 2.0 extensions could apply to non-web content as needed;
  3. Explore accessibility issues and define requirements for potential future guidelines:
    • Review feature requests that are not fully met by current versions;
    • Explore accessibility implications of new types of technologies that were not forecast during the development of WCAG 2.0;
    • Evaluate proposed requirements that were not considered testable in WCAG 2.0 but may now be due to advances in technology;
    • Consider impact of new assistive technologies and cloud-based accessibility services on accessibility;
    • Explore impact of future work on regulatory policies where WCAG 2.0 is currently adopted;
    • Publish requirements document for future WCAG version.
  4. Coordinate with other groups working on WCAG related activities:
    • Participate in work on documentation of accessibility support, including other WAI work on an accessibility support database to store crowd-sourced accessibility support information, although the WCAG WG will not maintain or review the data itself;
    • Collaborate with other groups to expand the set of test samples for WCAG 2.0 techniques;
    • Collaborate with other groups to address new web content accessibility issues;
    • Contribute input where appropriate towards requirements for future web accessibility guidelines from other parts of the Web Accessibility Initiative.

The UAAG and ATAG Working Group charters are expected to expire in one year. A new Working Group that addresses uses cases, user needs, and guidelines for content, user agents, and authoring tools may be chartered to take the place of all three groups, in which case the WCAG Working Group would end its charter early.

Task Forces

Consistent with W3C Process requirements on Task Forces, the WCAG WG may form task forces composed of WCAG WG participants or join other W3C task forces to carry out assignments when under the chartered scope of WCAG WG. Any such task force must have a work statement (including objectives, communication, participation, and leadership) that has been announced on the WCAG WG mailing list, approved by the WCAG WG, and is available from the WCAG WG home page task forces list. WCAG WG task forces should produce requirements documents that outline the scope and expectations for work. Task forces may set up separate teleconferences and hold face-to-face meetings per the W3C process and with the approval of the WCAG WG.

Success Criteria

Out of Scope

  • The WG will not publish a revision of WCAG 2.0;
  • The WCAG WG is not required to be the central repository for accessibility support data;
  • The WCAG WG does not perform conformance evaluations and reviews;


The following deliverables will be published as W3C Technical Reports:

Other Deliverables

  • Errata for WCAG 2.0;
  • How to Meet WCAG 2.0 (Quick Reference);
  • Policy and procedures regarding sufficient techniques submitted by third parties;
  • Meeting minutes.

The WCAG Working Group may also address the following.

  • Application Notes about particular areas of application of WCAG 2.0, as needed;
  • Working Group Notes produced by task forces, as needed;
  • Working Group Notes or less formal publications on topics related to the scope of the WG, as needed;
  • Alternate versions of WCAG 2.0.


The Working Group plans to publish updated Working Group Notes of Understanding WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.0 Techniques one or more times per year. Prior to publication as updated Working Group Notes, the Working Group publishes public editors' drafts and issues a formal review request.

Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group home page.
Specification Public Editors' Draft FPWD CR PR Note Rec
WCAG 2.0 Edited Recommendation January 2016 April 2016
Understanding WCAG 2.0 January and June of each year March and September of each year
WCAG 2.0 Techniques January and June of each year March and September of each year
WCAG Mobile Extension November 2015 October 2017 January 2018 April 2018
Understanding WCAG Mobile Extension November 2015 April 2018
WCAG Cognitive Extension November 2015 October 2017 January 2018 April 2018
Understanding WCAG Cognitive Extension November 2015 April 2018

A detailed plan to achieve these milestones, and known deviations from these initially chartered milestones, is documented in the WCAG WG Deliverables.

Dependencies & Liaisons

W3C Groups

Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group
Provide input into other W3C groups on accessibility requirements.
ARIA Working Group
Review and help develop WCAG 2.0 Techniques for WAI-ARIA.
Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group
Ensure that WCAG 2.0 reflects correct interpretation and integration with ATAG 1.0 and ATAG 2.0, coordinate on development of test files and test procedures.
Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group
Interpret and coordinate development of techniques for developers of testing methodologies and tools, coordinate on development of test files and test procedures.
Education and Outreach Working Group
Coordinate on making WCAG 2.0 usable by a wider audience, on developing or reviewing strategies and materials to increase awareness and to educate Web community about WCAG 2.0, ensure WCAG 2.0 uses terms from WAI Glossary properly.
HTML Accessibility Task Force
Develop techniques for HTML 5, and advise on WCAG conformance interpretations of HTML features.
Internationalization Activity
Ensure that references to internationalization techniques are correct, and to ensure that language can be translated successfully.
Mobile Web Initiative
Explore relationship between Mobile Web best practices and WCAG 2.0, and applicability of WCAG 2.0 to content displayed on mobile devices.
User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group
Ensure that WCAG 2.0 reflects correct interpretation and integration with UAAG 1.0 and UAAG 2.0, coordinate on development of tests.
WAI Interest Group
Send deliverables for review.

Furthermore, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group expects to follow these W3C Recommendations:

External Groups

  • U.S. Access Board
  • European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
  • European Committee for Standardization (CEN)
  • European Commission
  • RERC for the Advancement of Cognitive Technologies
  • RERC on Universal Interface and Information Technology Access


To be successful, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is expected to have 10 or more active participants, with participation where possible including representation from industry, disability communities, accessibility research and government. Effective participation to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is expected to consume 4 hours per week most weeks for each participant. Editors may contribute more time.


This group conducts its work on the publicly archived mailing list w3c-wai-gl@w3.org (archive). The Working Group relies heavily on Web-Based Surveys to collect opinions prior to meetings, and makes official decisions at weekly teleconferences.

The Working Group may form task forces, which may conduct work using separate teleconferences, email lists, and other tools. At time of charter, task forces include: Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force (jointly with the Accessible Platform Architectures WG), and Mobile Accessibility Task Force (jointly with the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines WG).

This group coordinates with other WAI groups to ensure a common approach to addressing accessibility requirements.

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 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. The Chair decides whether a quorum is present for any Working Group meeting.

The Working Group maintains specific procedures to establish and measure consensus and address objections in the WCAG Working Group Decision Policy.

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 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 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:

Andrew Kirkpatrick, Co-chair
Joshue O Connor, Co-chair
Michael Cooper, Staff Contact

$Date: 2015/06/24 15:42:25 $