Research and Development Working Group (RDWG) Charter

The mission of the Research and Development Working Group (RDWG), part of the WAI International Program Office Activity, is to increase the incorporation of accessibility considerations into research on Web technologies, and to identify projects researching Web accessibility and suggest research questions that may contribute to new projects. The desired outcome of more research in Web accessibility and awareness of accessibility in mainstream Web-related research should decrease the number of potential barriers in future Web-related technologies.

This mission is complementary to the work of other Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) groups within the WAI Technical Activity and the WAI International Program Office Activity. RDWG was originally chartered in 2001 and has been rechartered once since then in order to continue exploring accessibility considerations in Web technologies. It is being proposed as a Working Group rather than Interest Group in order to recognize the ongoing commitment needed by a core group of participants, and the work required to produce the planned deliverables. The group is currently inactive pending identification of a Chair and Team Contact.

Join the Research and Development Working Group.

End date 30 June 2013
Confidentiality Proceedings are Public. Some communications between editors may be member-confidential.
Initial Chairs Simon Harper (University of Manchester)
Expecting additional co-Chair
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: Anticipated to be 25% initially, then 10%)
Shadi Abou-Zahra
Usual Meeting Schedule Regular teleconferences: weekly
Teleconference seminars: 3-4 times per year
Face-to-face: None to twice annually


Success Criteria


  1. Teleconference Calendar: proposed list of topics, with schedule of teleconferences at which those topics will be addressed. Potential topics include Web accessibility aspects of:
    • cognitive disabilities
    • virtual reality on the Web
    • social networking
    • online education
    • digital broadcasting
    • telemedicine
    • mobile Web
    • augmented reality
    • digital rights management
    • web accessibility in less developed regions
    • internationalization
  2. Teleconference seminars: Two hour teleconferences, scheduled approximately 3-4 times per year, to explore a given research topic in depth. Topics will be nominated, selected and prepared by RDWG participants in good standing. Materials will be available at least one week in advance of the teleconference.
  3. Reports: A brief written synopsis of discussion with links to the material generated for the seminar such as a reading list, key research projects for the topic, and audio and text transcripts.
  4. Prioritized Research Problems: Prioritized list of research questions that are not being investigated or are not being sufficiently investigated. Descriptions and implications of each question or issue will be provided as well as links to additional information if available.
  5. Tips for Accessibility-Aware Research: Start-up tips and basic guidance for researchers for incorporating accessibility considerations into their research designs, to be published as a W3C Working Group Note.
  6. Research Resources: Web page of reference links to accessibility-related research resources.

Timeline View Summary

Per quarter, starting fourth quarter (Q4) 2010:


W3C Groups

External Groups

Coordinate with other groups worldwide who perform research and development or who coordinate research and development in their geographical region or topic area.


To be successful, RDWG is expected to have 5 or more active participants for its duration. Effective participation in the RDWG is expected to consume 4 hours per week for each participant.

Participants are reminded of the Good Standing requirements of the W3C Process.


This group primarily conducts its work on the public mailing list public-wai-rd@w3.org (archive).

Information about the group (deliverables, participants, face-to-face meetings, teleconferences, etc.) is available from the Research and Development Working Group home page.

Decision Policy

As explained in the Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus. When the Chair puts a question and observes dissent, after due consideration of different opinions, the Chair should record a decision (possibly after a formal vote) and any objections, and move on.

Patent Disclosures

The WAI Resarch and Development Working Group provides an opportunity to share perspectives on research to advance accessibility. This Working Group is not chartered to produce Recommendations with associated licensing obligations as described by the W3C Patent Policy. W3C reminds Working Group participants of their obligation to comply with patent disclosure obligations as set out in Section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy. While this Working Group does not produce Recommendation-track documents, when Working Group participants review Recommendation-track specifications from other Working Groups, the patent disclosure obligations do apply.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for RDWG has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

Please also see the previous charter for this group.

Shadi Abou-Zahra and Judy Brewer

$Date: 2011/04/12 14:40:39 $