Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group Charter

The mission of the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group (APA WG, formerly part of the Protocols and Formats Working Group) is to ensure W3C specifications provide support for accessibility to people with disabilities. The group advances this mission through review of W3C specifications, development of technical support materials, collaboration with other Working Groups, and coordination of harmonized accessibility strategies within W3C.

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

Join the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group.

Start date 22 October 2015
End date 31 July 2018
Charter extension The charter extension history is documented in "About this charter"
Confidentiality Proceedings are public.
Initial Chairs Janina Sajka
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 40)
Michael Cooper (25%)
Shadi Abou-Zahra (5%)
Liam Quin (10%)
Usual Meeting Schedule Teleconferences: Weekly
Face-to-face: approximately 2 per year


Success Criteria

  • Improved accessibility of W3C technologies as measured by the activity of accessibility proponents in coordination with APA, accepted comments on specifications, and other tracked Working Group dialog;
  • Release of Web Technology Accessibility Guidelines as Working Group Note and indications of its use by other Working Groups;
  • Documentation of new accessibility issues and solutions, potentially with spin-off work begun;
  • Record of active and sustained coordination between APA and other stakeholders.


The following deliverables will be published as W3C Technical Reports and supporting resources.

Other Deliverables

  • Research reports addressing, as needed, gaps identified during accessibility reviews of draft specifications, and/or technical questions emerging through other aspects of accessibility reviews;
  • 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 Note
Web Technology Accessibility Guidelines Apr 2016 Jul 2017
Inaccessibility of CAPTCHA Apr 2016 Sep 2016
Media Accessibility User Requirements
Dec 2015

A detailed plan to achieve these milestones is documented in the APA WG Project Management Plan.


Dependencies on W3C Groups

ARIA Working Group
Coordinate on resolution of architectural issues identified by ARIA and meeting user needs identified by APA.
CSS Working Group
Coordinate on general CSS accessibility topics.
Internationalization Activity
Coordinate how to address accessibility and internationalization in W3C specs.
SVG Working Group
Coordinate on general graphics accessibility topics.
Timed Text Working Group
Ensure Media Accessibility User Requirements are met in TTML and WebVTT.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group
Coordinate on development of techniques and general content accessibility issues.
WAI Interest Group
Engage in specification review and research activity.
Web Real-Time Communications Working Group
Ensure Media Accessibility User Requirements are met in WebRTC.
Web Platform Working Group
Coordinate on general HTML and web API accessibility topics.

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 two to four hours per week for each participant; twice as much per week for chairs and editors.


The Working Group communicates by regular teleconferences, email, IRC, Web-Based Survey, issue tracker comments, and occasional face to face meetings. At charter time, the group uses the following mailing lists:

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 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WG), HTML Accessibility Task Force (jointly with the HTML Working Group), Research and Development Task Force, and Specification Accessibility Task Force.

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

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

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 Accessible Platform Architectures 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 Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group has been created according to section 5.2 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.

This Working Group is one of two split from the former Protocols and Formats Working Group. This group focuses on technology review while the ARIA Working Group focuses on technology development. A diff version between this charter and the previous PFWG charter is available. Primary changes in this charter:

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

$Date: 2016/11/10 02:34:54 $