Research Questions Task Force (RQTF) Work Statement

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


The Research Questions Task Force was approved on 10 June 2016 and is now active. The Task Force home page contains information about the operation and resources of the group.


The mission of the Research Questions Task Force (RQTF) is to investigate and report on research questions identified in consultation with the APA Working Group. This will help the APA Working Group to address accessibility knowledge gaps and barriers in emerging and future web technologies, including, in particular, those technologies which are under review by APA.

Scope of Work

The RQTF works with the research community to identify short and long-term strategies to address knowledge gaps pertinent to the accessibility of W3C technologies. Near-term efforts are intended to provide empirically sound guidance from the accessibility, human-computer interaction (HCI), disability, cognitive science research, and innovation lab communities to inform the specification review and authoring process. Longer-term efforts may include publication of research questions and challenges that can inform the broader accessibility focused research community of critical knowledge gaps in current, emerging or future web technologies.

The RQTF will develop:

  1. Informed responses to identified research questions. These responses are to be developed through outreach to specialists in accessibility research (and related fields such as HCI, Cognitive Science, Disability research, etc), as well as focused literature reviews and outreach to the WAI Interest Group, as appropriate;
  2. Tips for Accessibility-Aware Research to assist researchers in incorporating accessibility considerations into their research designs, based on an initial concept outline, to be published as an online resource after further development and review by the Task Force.


The RQTF works within the APA Working Group to address knowledge gaps which impact the accessibility of W3C technologies. The Task Force will define these gaps in terms of Research Questions and then seek to identify research findings, researchers, and research opportunities to fill these gaps where possible. Using the WAI Interest Group, liaisons established as appropriate with other W3C groups, and networks of accessibility researchers maintained by Task Force members, the Task Force will conduct outreach to seek the latest findings that can fill gaps. The APA Working Group will pose Research Questions to the RQTF that arise directly or indirectly from the review of W3C specifications.

The RQTF will prepare brief reports summarizing its findings in response to research questions, then deliver these reports to the APA Working Group and disseminate them to relevant W3C and research communities.


RQTF 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 Research Questions Task Force Facilitators;
  • Maintain information resulting from its activities (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) on the Research Questions Task Force home page.


Any participant in the APA Working Group may participate in the Research Questions Task Force. Participants should expect to dedicate 3 to 4 hours per week for Research Questions Task Force work, which is considered part of the overall work commitment to the APA Working Group:

  • Remain current on the Research Questions 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 Research Questions Task Force teleconferences, or send regrets to the Research Questions Task Force mailing list.

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

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

Current Research Questions Task Force participants


Staff contacts from the APA Working Group 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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