EOWG Charter 2020 Additional Information

From Education & Outreach

Links to EOWG 2020 Charter Drafts

W3C Member Statements

(The following are posted to this public page with permission.)

  • W3C Member: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona — Anna Matamala, Leader TransMedia Catalonia Research Group, Spain

We firmly support the work done by the Accessibility Education and Outreach WG. The WAI resources and training materials developed by this group are a highly valuable reference and inspiration for promoting and implementing web and digital accessibility in our courses at the university. From a training perspective the resource Making Audio and Video Media Accessible was helpful for introducing web-based environments in our training materials. Empathy driven video resources, such as User Perspective Videos and How People with Disabilities Use the Web, have proved to be relevant for understanding and involving end users in web and digital accessibility. In addition, we are also using and including materials from Introduction to Web Accessibility and Curricula on Web Accessibility: A Framework to Build Your Own Courses in our courses.

  • W3C Member: Siteimprove — Jennifer Chadwick, Lead Accessibility Strategist, North America

When working closely with teams on developing their training and process implementation plan for accessibility, Siteimprove references the highly valuable resources from WAI regularly - for designers, developers, content writers and testers. The WAI resources, predominantly created by the Education and Outreach Working Group, are seen by Siteimprove (and these teams) as consumable, thorough and authoritative. Consistently across practitioner teams, organizations and industries, we have seen the impact of EOWG resources in building empathy and understanding of end users (User Perspective Videos, How People with Disabilities Use the Web), practical frameworks for design and content decision-making (Alt Text Decision Tree, Tutorials, Tips on Designing, Writing and Developing for Accessibility) and for process implementation and accountability (the Accessibility Roles and Responsibilities Methodology (ARRM), Introduction to Web Accessibility and Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List).

  • W3C Member: University of Colorado Boulder — Howard Kramer, Instructor

EOWG resources have made it immensely easier to include W3C standards in my teaching. The resources of EOWG, including the new curricula resources, have been invaluable in helping me develop high quality curricula for classes on Web and Digital Accessibility for the University of Colorado.

Statements from 2017

Q & A

Analysis of Working Group, Interest Group, Community Group

Summary: Current EOWG Co-Chairs, participants, staff contact, and other W3C staff have determined it is best to continue accessibility education and outreach work in a W3C Working Group and not change to an Interest Group or Community Group.

W3C Process

Process 2019 describes WGs and IGs as:

  • Working Groups. Working Groups typically produce deliverables (e.g., Recommendation Track technical reports, software, test suites, and reviews of the deliverables of other groups). There are additional participation requirements described in the W3C Patent Policy.
  • Interest Groups. The primary goal of an Interest Group is to bring together people who wish to evaluate potential Web technologies and policies. An Interest Group is a forum for the exchange of ideas.

The Education and Outreach group continues to focus on producing deliverables and updating existing EOWG deliverables through the W3C consensus process, rather than exchanging ideas of potential Web technologies, and thus fits the W3C Process doc's description of a Working Group.

EOWG resources need the W3C process and staff contribution (beyond typical Community Groups) to ensure quality of deliverables that are published as WAI Resources.


Partly based on AC feedback in previous EOWG re-chartering discussions, the Co-Chairs, Team, and EOWG participants have carefully considered the options of work being done in a Community Group, Interest Group, or Working Group. EOWG participants started some work through a Community Group (WAI-Engage), but it got limited contributions and uptake. Over the last few years, there has been some effort to get more involvement from the existing WAI Interest Group participants into EOWG Resources. That has resulted in a little more input (usually 0-2 comments per resource), but not sufficient review and contribution.

Based on these experiences and analysis (more details below), EOWG Co-Chairs and participants find that a Working Group is important for:

  • the purpose of the group to develop vetted deliverables by W3C consensus process
  • credibility and authority of deliverables
  • participant support and motivation to contribute
  • leveraging the momentum and positive public reputation of the existing productive working group

Accessibility education and outreach materials with the authority and credibility of being developed in a Working Group can better support other Working Groups and W3C's accessibility goals, as discussed in the charter Introduction.

One perspective is that there is little risk to continue W3C accessibility education and outreach work through the established Working Group, whose productivity and quality of deliverables is at a high level over the last few years.

Pros and Cons

(merge, no separate EO group)
(existing WAI-Engage?)
Authority and credibility of deliverables PRO: highest CON: lower CON: lower CON: lowest
Member support for participation
(& participant motivation to contribute)
PRO: highest CON: little (a) CON: little (a) CON: lowest
Leveraging existing productive group PRO: highest CON: less (a) CON: non-existant CON: non-existant

(a) Participant Contribution Perspectives

EOWG participants (most of whom are W3C Members) have repeatedly said that if the group was an Interest Group instead of a Working Group, they expect that their organization would not support their time on it. Some said they would be removed from the group, others said that they wouldn't have much time to contribute to the work, since it would be all outside of their work time. This was mentioned at the February 2017 face-to-face (participant list) as well as other times when the topic was brought up.

Most EOWG participants get permission to spend time contributing to EOWG from their immediate manager. Most of those managers know little or nothing about W3C's distinctions of Working Groups, Interest Groups, and Community Groups. They hear "W3C Working Group" and that sounds like worth investing some time into. However, if they hear "Interest Group" or "Community Group", that sounds less important and not something worth spending employee time on.

Some EOWG participants know that the WAI-Engage Community Group has gotten no traction, and the content they put there gets little attention. Some associate "Interest Group" with the existing WAI Interest Group, which is primarily a mailing list, and not a group that produces deliverables. Thus, some of these individuals feel that it is not worth investing their time and talents in a Community Group or Interest Group.


From 2015 Charter review disposition of comments:

In the W3C Process document, Working Groups are described as typically producing deliverables (and reviewing the deliverables of other groups), while an Interest Group is described as a forum for the exchange of ideas with a primary goal of bringing together people who wish to evaluate potential Web technologies and policies. W3C staff reviewed EOWG against the current W3C Process definitions and given that EOWG is primarily focused on producing deliverables, albeit not normative specifications, we find it fits as a Working Group as currently defined in the W3C Process.

EOWG has tried producing work through a Community Group in the past, and this was not successful at all. Key missing elements included lack of a Team Contact and lack of participation parameters. We feel that EOWG deliverables will be best developed at the pace and quality needed within the context of a Working Group rather than Community Group; and maintenance and updating of the existing EOWG documents will also be best managed in a group that has a continuity of background with those documents.


We agree with your point that additional exploration of the issue of why developers find accessibility difficult can be done in Community Groups, and we are monitoring such discussions, for example, in the Accessible Online Learning, Accessibility in India, and Chinese Web Accessibility Community Groups.

Staff Support and External Funding

Links below go to Project pages. Other funding information is available in the Thank You, W3C Funders page.

As of April 2020:


Changes made to Review version and GitHub version:

  • 8 June — corrected typo Accessibile -> Accessible
  • 22 May — corrected typo "bases" -> "basis" in "The first curriculum, Introduction to Web Accessibility, was used as the basis for a free online course."

Changes made — in response to AC Rep comments — in the GitHub version since the review version:

  • 11 June — Updated WCAG versions - PR WCAG changes
    • removed "2.0" and "2" from "How to Meet WCAG: A customizable quick reference"
    • added 2.2 to "Update BAD to address WCAG 2.1 success criteria, and WCAG 2.2 success criteria if resources are available"
  • 11 June — In Timeline, moved "Designing Accessible Content Curricula" later - PR timeline changes

Archived Info

Issue: Group Name

Status: Closed 29 April
Decision: Accessibility Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG)

The scope of the group is accessibility, specifically supporting understanding and implementation of W3C accessibility standards. The group has for many years been called “Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG)”. The accessibility focus is provided throughout the charter wording and the EOWG home page. However, in some places the group is listed without such context and in those places, it is not clear from the group name alone that the scope is accessibility.

Question:   Should the group name be changed to include “Accessibility”?

There are pros and cons for each option.

Pros for adding “Accessibility” to the group name:

  • + Anyone can easily tell the scope from the name.
  • + If W3C were to have an education and outreach group with a different focus in the future, it would be more helpful to have the scope clear in this group name.

Cons to adding “Accessibility” to the group name:

  • Adding it at the beginning would change the group in alphabetical lists, and some who are used to looking for “Education…” won’t find it there.
  • Adding it not at the beginning is awkward phrasing. (changed name options below)
  • Overhead for staff and others to change the name.

Input invited:

  • Are any of the pros or cons particularly important for keeping or changing the name?

Changed name options – and comments:

  1. Accessibility Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) – changes alphabetical listing - “EOWG” doesn’t match
  2. Accessibility Education and Outreach Working Group (AEOWG) – changes alphabetical listing - “AEOWG” not smooth and an additional change in how people refer to the group
  3. Education and Outreach on Accessibility Working Group (EOWG) – awkward phrasing, especially where the group name is used in sentences - “EOWG” doesn’t match
  4. Education and Outreach Working Group on Accessibility (EOWG) – a bit odd to have it after “Group” + Co-Chairs preference
  5. WAI Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) – some people are not aware that “WAI” scope is accessibility

Ideas for clarifying the scope *without* formal name change:

  • Use “Accessibility Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG)” in the charter mission, scope, and the Join link; on the EOWG home page; and other places where it’s not listed alphabetically. For example, current charter draft