User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

W3C Working Draft 21 August 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.

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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, media players, etc., 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 21 August 2002 Last Call Working Draft of "User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0". The last call review period ends 18 September 2002. Last Call Working Draft status is described in section 5.2.2 of the Process Document. Since the previous Candidate Recommendation draft, the UAWG has gathered implementation experience and clarified the document based on in-depth discussions with user agent and assistive technology developers.

As a result of the second Candidate Recommendation period, the UAWG:

  1. deleted or modified some checkpoint provisions with low implementation experience;
  2. retained some checkpoints despite low implementation experience;
  3. added one checkpoint regarding API access to some rendering information.

The chapter on conformance has also been greatly simplified since the Candidate Recommendation. The complete list of changes is available on the Web.

In this review, the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is primarily interested in comments on changes since the Candidate Recommendation. The Working Group does not expect to make substantial changes to this document as the result of this review; the document has already received substantial technical review. The UAWG does expect to make clarifications and to record issues to be addressed after UAAG 1.0.

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 Working Draft 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."

Please send comments about this document to the public mailing list w3c-wai-ua@w3.org; public archives 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

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