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The Protocols and Formats Working Group is no longer chartered to operate. Its work will continue in two new Working Groups:

  • https://www.w3.org/WAI/APA/ Accessible Platform Architectures, to review specifications, develop technical support materials, collaborate with other Working Groups on technology accessibility, and coordinate harmonized accessibility strategies within W3C; and
  • https://www.w3.org/WAI/ARIA/ Accessible Rich Internet Applications, to continue development of the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) suite of technologies and other technical specifications when needed to bridge known gaps.

Resources from the PFWG remain available to support long-term institutional memory, but this information is of historical value only.

This Wiki page was edited by participants of the Protocols and Formats Working Group. It does not necessarily represent consensus and it may have incorrect information or information that is not supported by other Working Group participants, WAI, or W3C. It may also have some very useful information.

Social Web

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Social Web Incubator Group (SWXG) Liaison Page

Social Web XG Resources

Accessibility issues of social Web


How authoring should be supported, e.g., prompting users for alt text for uploaded formats.


How interchange formats need to support accessibility, e.g., including text alternatives when photos shared.

  • Many social sites provide APIs in addition to the primary Web interface. This leads to a possibility to create alternate accessible interfaces - but depends on the API exposing all of the features.

User interface

Accessibility specific issues of social Web user interfaces. Much of this stuff may be general issues addressed by ARIA.


Accessibility issues of authentication. Known formats being looked at:

  • GNU Social
  • OpenID
  • OAuth: an open protocol to allow secure API authorization in a simple and standard method from desktop and web applications
    • OAuth 1.0 Protocol draft-hammer-oauth-10 (specification)
      • OAuth provides a method for clients to access server resources on behalf of a resource owner (such as a different client or an end-user). It also provides a process for end-users to authorize third-party access to their server resources without sharing their credentials (typically, a username and password pair), using user-agent redirection
  • WebID

Expression of accessibility needs

Ways users can express accessibility requirements. This could be part of the authentication process.

Known accessibility problems with existing social sites

Known problems with sites, not to bash them but to extract patterns that might form requirements for an accessible social Web.

  • Concurrency - a lot of sites have simultaneous updates etc. This is a similar problem to chat environments but may have some social media-specific issues and solutions.


  • "Hide" pop-up link not keyboard accessible.
  • Standard DHTML accessibility issues.
    • Lack of landmarks.
    • Confusion over what keyboard access in widgets should be.
  • Content updating, alerts?
  • Could use pop-up text on image links.



Twitter API Clients Used by Persons With Disabilities

Often, due to invalid markup and a lack of consistent use of alt text and other accessibility problems encountered with Twitter's default web-based interface, persons with a disability use Twitter via a third party application. The following list is: a) alphabetically arranged by sub-group; b) is neither an endorsement of listed apps nor a condamnation of apps which are not listed; and c) incomplete.

Platform Agnostic Twitter API Clients Used by Persons with Disabilities
Linux/Unix Twitter API Clients Used by Persons with Disabilities
MacOS Twitter API Clients Used by Persons with Disabilities
Mobile Platform Twitter API Clients Used by Persons with Disabilities
  • Echofon iPhone twitter client
  • Tweets60 free twitter client for Nokia S60 smartphones
  • Twikini freeware for Windows mobile phones
Windows Twitter API Clients Used by Persons with Disabilities
  • McTwit is a free, open source desktop client for Twitter designed for productivity by keyboard users. Additionally, if the JAWS, System Access, or Window-Eyes screen reader is active, some information is conveyed efficiently through direct speech messages. Such messages are also displayed on the status line for visual users. McTwit works on almost any version of Windows, including 64-bit Vista, and is available in a command-line and a GUI version (developed by Jamal Mazrui)
  • Qwitter: "an accessible Twitter client designed for access by the blind, providing an innovative integration between Twitter and a user's screen reader. The Qwitter client enables blind individuals to interface with the Twitter service globally, regardless of application focus."
    • "full support for the three major commercial screen readers and SAPI speech, provides you instant access to all aspects of the twitter microblogging service, giving you the ability to post a tweet from anywhere, read tweets, perform searches, and far, far more."



PF Action Items Concerning Social Web XG

PF Issues Logged Concerning Social Web XG Activity

OAuth Accessibility Issues