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WAI: Strategies, guidelines, and resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

Requirements/Analysis and changelog for Relationship Between MWBP & WCAG

Page Contents

Latest Drafts:

Purpose, Goals, Objectives

Note: These documents are not about how to make mobile-aware content accessible, that is, accessible to people with disabilities use mobile devices, as that should be covered by WCAG, especially 2.0.


Primary audiences:


(Updated $Date: 2009/06/01 18:09:09 $)

Previous versions of the technical documents answered two questions:

  1. How does [each Mobile Best Practice] especially help users with disabilities? /
    How does [each WCAG Checkpoint or Success Criteria] especially help mobile users?
  2. Does [each Mobile Best Practice] help meet any WCAG Checkpoint/Success Criteria? /
    Does [each WCAG Checkpoint or Success Criteria] give me MWBP compliance?

In the 28 March teleconference and e-mail discussions, EOWG agreed that the documents were too long and complicated, and discussed a finer focus to simplify the documents for users. Additionally, we would like to manage the workload on both EOWG and MWI BPWG, and get some of the documents completed soon.

After discussions with the editors and chairs, we propose the following re-structuring, re-scoping, and re-prioritizing.

First, complete the following documents:

  1. Overview Doc Web Content Accessibility and Mobile Web: Making a Web Site Accessible Both for People with Disabilities and for Mobile Devices (WAI Resource) -
    introduces the concept, and meets the needs of people just needing an overview
  2. Experiences Doc Experiences Shared by People with Disabilities and by People Using Mobile Devices (WAI Resource)
  3. Technical Doc Editor's Draft Relationship between Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (W3C Working Group Note) - has the following sub-pages: These would have the following information, for example in the Draft restructuring of From MWBP 1.0 to WCAG 2.0:
    • Summary of work required to make content that meets MWBP also meet WCAG 2.0 - simple lists of Nothing, Something, Everything; within each list, ordered by level
    • Addressing WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria - organized by SC number (and thus topic); includes short instructions on what is needed to comply with WCAG 2.0 in relation to what is already done for MWBP, and the full SC text linked to the Quick Reference (which lists techniques).
      QUESTION: Should it list all SC so that people can use this as a comprehensive list? Or, should this section include only the ones in the "Something" category in order to keep it short & focused? Discussion: all SC.
  4. [discuss priority] Short presentation on Mobile-Accessibility overlap - note that we will have a starter from Henny & Shawn after 25 April

Secondarily, after completing the documents above, prioritize completing the drafts below:

Path to Publication

The following are steps to complete the first set of documents, along with projected timeframes:

  Editors MWBP EOWG Other
Approve restructing done done done  
Restructure documents with existing content & minimal additional work done  
Approve for publication as updated Working Drafts done done Domain Leads
Complete content July  
Review completed documents July-Aug July-Aug WCAG WG, WAI PFWG
Approve for publication as [final WG Note, or updated Working Draft?] ? ? ? Domain Leads
? additional public review cycle needed ? at least plan to address any comments taht come in        

Use Cases

Primary use cases for the detailed documents(s):

  1. I know WCAG 1.0 and now I also want to do MWBP.
  2. I know MWBP, and now I also want to do WCAG 2.0.
  3. I haven't done much with either accessibility or designing for mobile devices, and now I want to do both.

An example persona and scenario/use case:

Has these needs:

Additional use cases that the extended documents might address:

  1. A stakeholder has achieved compliance with one recommendation and now aims for compliance with the other. The document might explain what additional effort is required and how to leverage existing investment to comply with the other recommendation efficiently.
  2. A stakeholder is confused about, or is unaware of, the relationship between WCAG and Mobile Web Best Practices, seeing them as separate and disjoint, and missing the synergy and the overlap between them. The document might explain how they are similar and how they differ, and that the development and evaluation processes are similar.
  3. A content provider is complying with one Recommendation and is aware of similarities with the other. The organization is aware that it can improve usability for all by complying with the corresponding checkpoints or best practices of the other Recommendation (partial compliance) with only a little further effort, but needs to know how to do this. The document might provide information about how to comply, with minimal effort, with the corresponding CPs or BPs of the other Recommendation (union of the two sets).
  4. A content provider is committed to compliance with one Recommendation and needs to know the cost of compliance with the other, doing both together. The document might clarify what added effort would be required (difference between the two sets).
  5. A content provider wishes to comply with both Recommendations on the same project, as part of a comprehensive content quality strategy, and wishes to integrate the requirements. The document might provide a single coherent, integrated overview of both.
  6. A company is developing an evaluation or repair tool (checker). It has developed a tool for one recommendation and is concerned not to waste resources writing new code unnecessarily. It wishes to reuse or adapt code from the existing tool and needs to know how WCAG and MWBP relate to each other as regards testing.
  7. A trainer is giving a course on Web accessibility to a group of mobile Web specialists (or vice versa) and wishes (a) to understand accessibility in the mobile context and (b) avoid repeating information the students already know.
  8. A disability advocacy group is arguing for adoption of WCAG for a mobile-aware Web site. The site owners have produced the counter-argument that it would entail undue hardship and effort. The group needs evidence that many WCAG checkpoints have already been partially complied with and that only a small further effort is needed.
  9. A policy maker and a guideline writer are producing comprehensive requirements for Websites and wish to require accessibility and mobile awareness but are confused about the relationship between the Recommendations. They need to understand the relationships and synergies involved.


Organization of the Work

The documents are produced jointly by the Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group and the WAI Education and Outreach Working Group. The technical draft is published in the MWBP space. Being a member of both groups, Alan Chuter will liaise between the two groups, with Shawn Henry and Jo Rabin, as chairs of the groups coordinating the work plan.

Technical doc open Issues:


Previous drafts listed under Changelog below.


Related documents :


Changelog for the technical document is on a separate Web page.

Experience document: 1 June 2009

Experience document: end of October

Experiences document: 3 October 2008 version

Experiences document: 2 October 2008 version

Experiences document: 8 September 2008 version

Experiences document: 26 August 2008 version

Experiences document: 31 July 2008 version

Experiences document: 28 July 2008 version

Experiences document: 24 July 2008 version

Experiences document: 21 July 2008 version

Experiences document: 15 July 2008 version

NOTE: CSS changes need to be fixed across browsers

Additional changes on 17 July (without changing the version date):

First round of changes:

Experiences document: 14 July 2008 version


Deleted from the Purpose section: Explain mobile-awareness using accessibility concepts, and explain accessibility to mobile web people., Highlight the shortcomings of the mobile web best practices as regards accessibility [proposed changed 6-nov-07] and vice versa (shortcomings of WCAG for mobile context)

Deleted from "Approach" section: To understand the relationship it is necessary to understand the relationship between the mobile context, primarily defined in terms of devices, and the accessibility context, defined in terms of user characteristics.... The document first examines the relationships between these two contexts. It then describes the relationship between each Mobile Web best practice and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. In a separate section it then examines each of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines success criteria and checkpoints and their relation to the different Mobile Web best practices. The concluding section of the document describes in a more general way how the two recommendations together can maximize usability for all users with the widest possible range of devices and contexts of use.

Deleted from "Audience" section: To fully understand the document users are expected to understand both sets of guidelines. This will exclude most readers. The document compares 1. WCAG to MWBP and 2. MWBP and WCAG. Perhaps for 1 knowledge of  WCAG should be assumed but not MWBP, and for 2 the reverse.

Deleted from "Use Cases" section: This list is the basis for the list of benefits in the document.

Completed action items from the 5-6 November 2007 face-to-face meeting: