WAI-Adapt Task Force Work Statement

The WAI-Adapt Task Force is a task force of the Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group. It assists this Working Group with the work identified below.


The WAI-Adapt Task Force has been transferred from the ARIA Working Group to the APA Working Group. The APA group has accepted the transfer.


The mission of the WAI-Adapt Task Force is to refine the WAI-Adapt specification, in consultation with the APA Working Group. The task force provides a focused forum for this work while the Working Group continues its work on APA development. WAI-Adapt was listed in the APA charter as "User Context" but was renamed as work progressed.

Scope of Work

As the nature of web technology broadens in scope and reach, and understanding of the needs of users with more types of disabilities increases through research and experience, the set of accessibility considerations for web sites becomes larger. Rather than extensively developing solutions for a wide range of users on all sites, designing sites in a way that they can be personalized to the needs of each user allows more optimal accessibility. New technologies are becoming available to provide personalized accessibility support, with assistance from semantics in web content. WAI-Adapt defines a set of semantic features that authors can use to support personalization of content. It is structured as an extension to Accessible Rich Internet Applications. The work descends in part from IndieUI: User Context but the approach in WAI-Adapt defines inline metadata in content, not user agent properties.


The task force will work within the APA Working Group to develop and refine WAI-Adapt. It will coordinate with other stakeholders, such as the Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Task Force, the Digital Publishing Working Group, IMS Global Learning Consortium, etc. It will prepare content for WAI-Adapt, which will be reviewed and published upon approval by the APA Working Group. It may archive features for consideration in a future version in order to maintain an achievable scope for the current version.

In addition to the features defined in WAI-Adapt, other work also addresses the broader topic of personalization to enhance accessibility. CSS provides many features to allow content to adapt to aspects of the user environment; RDFa and HTML Microdata provide ways to add semantics to content that can aid user adaptation; some Accessibility Guidelines can be met by enabling personalization. The task force will seek to develop a common vision for personalization approaches, coordinating with other groups as needed. The task force will engage the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group to help harmonize this coordination with other accessibility activity.


WAI-Adapt Task Force communications and discussions are visible to the public. The task force home page details communication mechanisms in use. The task force will:

  • Support synchronous (e.g., teleconferences, face-to-face meetings) and asynchronous (e.g., mailing list discussions, issue trackers, wiki, surveys, etc.) methods of communication;
  • Use the procedures of the APA Working Group Decision Policy to make decisions;
  • Provide updates and feedback to APA Working Group teleconferences, as appropriate. These liaisons are primarily the responsibility of the WAI-Adapt Task Force Facilitators;
  • Maintain information resulting from its activities (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) on the WAI-Adapt Task Force home page.


Any participant in the APA Working Group may participate in the WAI-Adapt Task Force. Participants should expect to dedicate 2 to 4 hours per week for WAI-Adapt Task Force work, which is considered part of the overall work commitment to the APA Working Group:

  • Remain current on the WAI-Adapt Task Force mailing list and respond to postings in a timely manner;
  • Provide feedback to editors of specifications via email or by filing bugs;
  • Participate in weekly WAI-Adapt Task Force teleconferences, or send regrets to the WAI-Adapt Task Force mailing list.

Participants may also join WAI-Adapt Task Force sub-groups. Sub-groups take on specific assignments for the WAI-Adapt Task Force.

If you are interested in becoming a participant of the WAI-Adapt Task Force or have any questions regarding its work, contact the task force facilitators.

Current WAI-Adapt Task Force participants


Staff contacts from the APA Working Groups oversee attention to W3C Process with respect to the chartered requirements of the Working Group. The Facilitators set agenda, lead meetings, determine consensus, and are the primary liaison to the Working Group.

Patent Policy

This Task Force is part of the APA Working Group Charter, which operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the APA Working Group.

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