Non W3C

From Cognitive Accessibility Task Force

Note: This page is out of date. This page has been ported to the github version. If you have edits for this page please send them to the list or to Michael and Lisa.

APIP (IMS Accessible Portable Item Protocol)


APIP is only a “proposed standard” with the status of Candidate Final Release. (Draft 1.0 from March 26, 2012) This is a stage at which implementations are necessary to finalize the specification. Implementers including ETS and Pearson have expressed concerns. However, anecdotally from experience at Pearson, APIP is the most requested user-profile type accessibility standard.

Purpose of APIP

An organization would use APIP if they wish to allow tests to adapt to differing user needs. APIP provides formats for exchanging:

  • Meta data about a user
  • Meta data about a test or test item
  • Alternative content for use in alternative test item presentations

What it is

APIP is an exchange format and complex Application Programming Interface (API). APIP compliant tools need to export and import from the exchange format. Tools do not need to use the format for their internal data storage. APIP provides a standard way to exchange a body of information about students and test items, which can be used to make a test adapt to different accessibility needs. The six APIP core use cases address only importing/reading and exporting/creating data files and packages. The only mention of rendering the test in the use case listing is an explanation of the purpose of one of the import/reading use cases, “Obtaining APIP personal needs and preferences – reading a set of personal needs and preferences, from a Preferences System, so that a system/tool/application can be configured to render APIP Items in a manner suited to the personal needs and preferences of the user.” 1 APIP is not a standalone format. It works through extensions to other specifications: “The APIP standard builds on the IMS Question and Test Interoperability (QTI) and the Access for All Personal Needs and Preferences (AfA PNP) specifications.”1 APIP does imply that a particular set of accommodations is important; but, the APIP standard does not provide detail on the accommodations or the related user interfaces: “The APIP standard specifies critical features both for assessment content and for personal needs (e.g., PNP) but intentionally offers limited guidance relative to assessment delivery systems.”2 As such, APIP provides common semantics for accommodations, but does not provide the common vocabulary needed to ensure that any a particular user-need will be accommodated in similar ways by different test delivery systems.

Required and Elective Accommodations for systems with "Core" Compliance

Core compliance is the main type of compliance. There is a lighter level of compliance called "Entry" which is left out of this table for simplification.

Access Feature Test Content/Authoring Supports User Profile (PNP) Supports Test Delivery Platform Supports
A1 Spoken Text Only Required Required Required
A2 Spoken Text and Graphics Required Required Required
A3 Spoken Non-Visual Required Required Required
A4 Spoken Graphics Only Elective Elective Elective
A5 Spoken Directions Only Elective Elective Elective
A6 Recording Preferences Elective Elective Elective
A7 Screen Reader Preferences Elective Elective Elective
A8 & A9 Braille information for a refreshable Braille display, including user preferences Required Required Elective
A10 References to tactile media (raised line-drawings, manipulatives) Required Required Elective
A11 American Sign Language (ASL) Elective Elective Elective
A12 Signed English Elective Elective Elective
A13 Translation of the entire content into a different language Elective Elective Elective
A14 Translation of specific words, phrases, graphics, or object descriptions into a different language Elective Elective Elective
A15 Translation of the entire content into another version of the item that uses simpler language Elective Elective Elective
A16 Providing an alternate representation of any piece of information in the question Elective Elective Elective
B1 Magnification Not Applicable Required Required
B2 Magnification amount preferences Not Applicable Required Required
B3 Reversing the color values of the entire test Not Applicable Elective Elective
B4 Alternate text and background colors Not Applicable Required Required
B5 Alternate Text and Background Colors, Color Preferences Not Applicable Required Required
B6 Color tint overlay over the content Not Applicable Elective Elective
B7 Color tint overlay over the content, Color Preferences Not Applicable Elective Elective
C1 Masking off the answers when the item is first encountered Not Applicable Required Required
C2 Masking certain parts of the test interface or question Not Applicable Elective Elective
C3 Playing music or sounds in the background Not Applicable Elective Elective
C4 Allowing for additional testing time Not Applicable Required Required
C5 Allowing for breaks during the test Not Applicable Elective Elective
C6 Highlighting key words that need special attention Elective Elective Elective
C7 Providing a line-by-line reading tool Not Applicable Elective Elective
C8 Color preferences for line-by-line reading tool Not Applicable Elective Elective
C9 Language Learner Guidance: Providing extra information to language learners to clarify some information Elective Elective Elective
C10 Cognitive Guidance: Providing extra information for some users who need additional cognitive guidance during testing or for something specific within an item Elective Elective Elective

The table above was pieced together from the following documents to ensure that a simple accessible summary is available:

Documents reviewed for this Summary

  1. Overview:
  2. Best Practice and Implementation Guide:


Note: This page is out of date. This page has been ported to the github version. If you have edits for this page please send them to the list or to Michael and Lisa.

What is it?

The GPII or Global Public Inclusive Initiative is an ambitious plan to ensure everyone can access and use the Internet with all its information, communities, and services. Access is ensured by eliminating any barriers due to disability, literacy, digital literacy, or aging, regardless of economic resources. The GPII will do this by creating infrastructure so that the UX is of "every device automatically changing into a form you can understand and use, instantly, whenever and wherever you encounter it." 

There are many parts to this large, complex project of Raising the Floor, a consortium of academic, industry, non-governmental organizations and individuals. In addition to the technical infrastructure required to support automatic personalisation of devices, GPII provides tools to guide a user in selecting suitable personalisations. It also introduces a system of shared components and services to enable developers to more easily bring solutions to market with reduced cost, increased interoperability, and to foster innovation.

The core GPII architecture is responsible for the run-time process of detecting the user, the device being used and the real world context. It then finds the user's stored personal preferences and configures the device and any suitable AT for a best possible personalised UX. A range of delivery mechanisms enable the use on diverse types of technologies, from personal mobile devices, public vending kiosks and shared desktop computers.

Beyond the technical features, International collaboration is critical for success as is political support along with buy-in from developers of proprietary or open source products and services, whether commercial, public, paid for or free at the point of use.


The GPII consists of 15 key components in 3 areas

  • Users discovering what will help them
  • Instant personalised access everywhere
  • Easier and lower cost of getting existing and innovation solutions to market

This is all being developed by a number of projects with funding from Canada, Europe (EC projects) and the USA from Governments, Foundations, Industry and 50-odd Raising the Floor partners. Specific activities include US Dept of Ed, UIITA-RERC, Fluid / Floe, Cloud4All and Prosperity4All, Library Implementation. In addition GPII is working closely with standards organisations including ISO 24751, ePub and W3C IndieUI

Of potential interest to Cog a11y are:

  • Unified listing of a11y solutions based on and improving ISO 24751
  • Tools for users to discover and select effective personalisations (PCP and PMT), Fluid
  • Real time matching of users preferences to specific device / AT capabilities and enabling them
  • Auto augmentation and transformation of media and materials, Floe
  • Assistance on demand
  • Consumer and expert collaborative community

Fluid & Floe

Note: This section is out of date. This section has been ported to the github version. If you have edits for this section please send them to the list or to Michael and Lisa.

What is It?

Fluid is an open-source software community and a technical toolkit called Fluid Infusion. Floe builds on Fluid Infusion to provide resources to personalize learning and access remove barriers.

The Fluid community is an international group of designers, developers, volunteers, and advisers who focus on a common mission: improving the user experience of community and open source web applications. To accomplish this goal, Fluid addresses the issue of user experience on all levels.

Fluid Infusion combines JavaScript, CSS, HTML and user-centered design, rolling them all into a single package that sits on top of the popular jQuery toolkit. Infusion includes ready-to-use components as well as a framework to build your own.

  • User Interface -- combining both design and technology to create a living library of sharable user interface components
  • Framework -- distributing a framework that provides an easy way to build JavaScript-based user interfaces that are highly flexible and reusable. Built using Web standards and the jQuery toolkit, Infusion provides a lightweight application development framework supporting simple Model View Controller (MVC) techniques
  • Design -- providing a Design Handbook (for designers and developers alike) including tools and techniques that are easy to use, learn, and modify
  • Education -- giving demonstrations and teaching others at conferences and meetings
  • Culture -- documenting and making publicly available community processes to support an agile approach to design and development in a community source project

Floe's User Interface simplification

Floe's UI Options makes it possible for users to change the size of fonts, and change the colors that are used so that text is easier to read for them. Here are some other ways users can control presentation.

  • Let users ask for definitions or explanations of unfamiliar terms and abbreviations.
  • Expressions that aren't meant literally, provides an explanation. Some users can work out what the words in a sentence mean literally, but may not get what is really meant. For example, the sentence, "The new phone is the best thing since sliced bread," has nothing to do with bread. If it is important to say it, indicate to the user that an explanation is available.
  • Support users' assistive technology. If someone uses a screen reader, or text to speech features on their computer, your content should be tagged in a way that makes this work well.
  • Let users suppress details. If the headings in the content are tagged, users can ask to see only the headings when they first look at a page, and then ask for the details on only the parts that are important to them.
  • Make interactions as simple and clear as possible.

Floe has conducted some early design work showing UI simplification around content.


Work done in ED


Task modeling languages

Duplication in current standards