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Techniques for Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

W3C Note 29 October 2002

This version:
Latest version:
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Jutta Treviranus - ATRC, University of Toronto
Charles McCathieNevile - W3C
Jan Richards - University of Toronto
Gregory Rosmaita


This document provides information to authoring tool developers who wish to satisfy the checkpoints of "Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0" [ATAG10]. It includes suggested techniques, sample strategies in deployed tools, and references to other accessibility resources (such as platform-specific software accessibility guidelines) that provide additional information on how a tool may satisfy each checkpoint.

This document is part of a series of accessibility documents published by the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

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 document is published as an informative appendix to the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines. The document represents an attempt to make it clearer how to use the techniques for different types of tools.

For further information about Working Group decisions, please consult the minutes of AUWG Meetings.

This document has been produced by the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AUWG) as part of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The goals of the Working Group are discussed in the AUWG charter. The AUWG is part of the WAI Technical Activity.

Please send comments about this document to the public mailing list: w3c-wai-au@w3.org (public archives).

A list of current W3C Recommendations and other technical documents including Working Drafts and Notes can be found at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

Table of Contents


How this document is organized

This document has been divided into a multi-part hypertext document to keep individual pages to a manageable size. There are publishing conventions used to identify various features and parts of the document. Some of these will be used to provide multiple views of the techniques - for example implementation techniques for a particular kind of tool, or references for particular techniques. Other conventions are used to ensure that this document is compatible with ATAG version 1.0 or will be compatible with ATAG wombat with a minimum of difficulty or change.

Applicability of techniques

Note on applicability of techniques: The following techniques are applicable to all kinds of authoring tools, including those that are insertable components of other authoring tools. For example, if an authoring tool for designing on-line courses (courseware) has a prefabricated chat facility that the instructor can drag on to their page, this component must comply with all the techniques for accessible output (guidelines 1-6) and accessible user interface (guideline 7).

Authoring tool categories

Note: Many checkpoints may not apply to a given category of authoring tool (e.g., markup tools, but not multimedia tools). Each section contains a link to a version with icons representing relevant tool categories for each checkpoint. These versions can be viewed by selecting the "turn on icons" link found at the top of each section.

Implementation techniques by guideline and checkpoint

  1. Support accessible authoring practices:
  2. Generate standard markup:
  3. Support the creation of accessible content:
  4. Provide ways of checking and correcting inaccessible content:
  5. Integrate accessibility solutions into the overall "look and feel":
  6. Promote accessibility in help and documentation:
  7. Ensure that the authoring tool is accessible to authors with disabilities: