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.

Start date 24 September 2015
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;
    • Publish Understanding WCAG 2.0;
    • Publish Techniques for WCAG 2.0;
    • Respond to public comments on WCAG 2.0 and its support materials;
    • 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 and support materials to address special topic areas as needed without changing the meaning of conformance to WCAG 2.0 on its own:
    • Define criteria for specific user groups and industry verticals that have identified needs for accessibility guidance, including but not limited to:
      • mobile devices,
      • cognitive impairments and learning disabilities,
      • digital learning materials,
      • low vision;
    • 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;
    • Provide guidance for how WCAG 2.0 extensions could apply to non-web content as needed;
  3. Determine features needed in future WAI accessibility guidelines and publish requirements:
  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;

* The UAAG and ATAG Working Group charters are expected to expire in Q4 2015. The W3C plans to review options for combining content, user agents, and authoring tools under a single Working Group and expects to propose a charter to address these topics, and will at that time evaluate experience to date on development of normative extensions, and potentially propose work on new normative guidelines. If this new Working Group is formed, the WCAG Working Group could end its charter early.

Success Criteria

  • Periodic publication of Understanding WCAG 2.0 and WCAG 2.0 Techniques;
  • Publishing WCAG 2.0 extension specifications and support materials;
  • Publication of requirements for a future version of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Out of Scope

  • 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.


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
Requirements for future version of WCAG October 2016 October 2017

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.
Cascading Style Sheets Working Group
Advise on WAG conformance interpretations of CSS features.
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

At charter time, the decision policy is under review within the group in order to develop a decision process that supports greater asynchronous participation and minimize dependence on weekly teleconferences. Until completed, the Working Group decision policy is as explained in Process Document section 3.3 of the W3C Process Document.

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: 2015/09/18 20:13:05 $