User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

W3C Proposed Recommendation 16 October 2002

This version:
Latest version:
Previous version:
Ian Jacobs, W3C
Jon Gunderson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Eric Hansen, Educational Testing Service
Authors and Contributors:
See acknowledgements.

This document is also available in these non-normative packages: single HTML (gzipped), gzip tar file of HTML, and zip archive of HTML. Note: Some user agents unzip the gzipped files on the fly without changing the file suffix. If you encounter problems reading the gzipped files, remove the .gz suffix and try again.


This document provides guidelines for designing user agents that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities (visual, hearing, physical, cognitive, and neurological). User agents include HTML browsers and other types of software that retrieve and render Web content. A user agent that conforms to these guidelines will promote accessibility through its own user interface and through other internal facilities, including its ability to communicate with other technologies (especially assistive technologies). Furthermore, all users, not just users with disabilities, are expected to find conforming user agents to be more usable.

In addition to helping developers of HTML browsers and media players, this document will also benefit developers of assistive technologies because it explains what types of information and control an assistive technology may expect from a conforming user agent. Technologies not addressed directly by this document (e.g., technologies for braille rendering) will be essential to ensuring Web access for some users with disabilities.

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. The latest status of this document series is maintained at the W3C.

This is the 16 October 2002 Proposed Recommendation of "User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0". The UAWG believes this document addresses the technical requirements of its charter. The document has been widely reviewed by the disability community, developers, and other W3C groups. As a result of the UAAG 1.0 second Candidate Recommendation period, the UAWG has published an implementation report of the last call draft and a draft test suite.

After the second Candidate Recommendation period, the UAWG issued a last call to confirm the changes to the document, most of which involved deleting some requirements with low implementation experience. The UAWG resolved all issues raised during the last call. The complete list of changes to UAAG 1.0 is available on the Web.

W3C Advisory Committee representatives are invited to send formal review comments to the W3C Team until 14 November 2002 at wai-ua-review@w3.org. After the review the Director will announce the document's disposition. This announcement should not be expected sooner than 14 days after the end of the review.

The latest information regarding patent disclosures related to this document is available on the Web. As of this publication, there are no disclosures.

Publication as a Proposed Recommendation does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than "work in progress."

The public is invited to send comments about this document to w3c-wai-ua@w3.org; public archives of this mailing list are available.

This document is part of a series of accessibility documents published by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). WAI Accessibility Guidelines are produced as part of the WAI Technical Activity. The goals of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group are described in the charter.

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents can be found at the W3C Web site.

Table of contents

Note: With a user agent that implements HTML 4 [HTML4] access keys, readers may navigate directly to the table of contents via the "c" character. Users may have to use additional keyboard strokes depending on their operating environment.