Easier production of accessible Web content is an important aspect of improving accessibility of the Web for people with disabilities. One of the factors that can help towards that goal is better support for accessibility in the authoring tools themselves. WAI is pleased to announce the publication of the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0 which help authoring tool developers create more accessible products that produce more accessible content. People with disabilities need to be able to use authoring tools, and ATAG provides helpful guidance in areas specific to authoring tools, like an accessible editing view.
Real World, Real Tools
ATAG 2.0 is complete, ready for use and is already being implemented (or is in the process of being implemented) by native and web-based authoring tools including: Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal and DeFacto CMS; Learning Management Systems (LMS) and MOOCs like edX; WYSIWYG and HTML editors like Ephox, Achecker and TinyMCE, social media tools like Easy Chirp, and media editing or specialty tools like Common Look Global Access.
More Accessible Authoring for People with Disabilities
Tools that meet ATAG 2.0 make it easier for people with disabilities to author web content, with a focus on the editing functions of the authoring tool. Here are some examples:
- Edit or create content with the font size and colors you need, while publishing in the size and colors you want for your audience.
- Identify images and media in your editing view with info like alternative text or captions.
- Use spellchecking or other status indicators that work with assistive technology (not simply be CSS or other vision-only indicator).
- Navigate through the content structure or outline
- Search text and alternative text in the editing view
ATAG will help you conform to WCAG.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 provide internationally accepted guidance for accessible web content. ATAG 2.0 is closely integrated with WCAG 2.0 and supports WCAG implementation. ATAG gives authoring tool developers guidance on making better tools that help authors in creating content that meets WCAG 2.0. Like other features of tools – spellchecking, grammar checking, syntax validation – accessibility becomes an integrated feature. When the tool helps produce more accessible content, it may improve accessibility at a lower training cost than traditional tools, and help avoid costly revisions incurred by adding accessibility later.
ATAG helps you create more accessible web content by:
- ensuring that features that support accessibility are as easy to discover and use as other features of the tool.
- preserving accessibility information across copy-paste or Save As operations
- identifying what templates are accessible
- helping authors with accessibility checking and repair of accessibility problems
How Can I Start Using ATAG?
Tool developers can use ATAG 2.0 for guidance on making better authoring tools for their customers. People with disabilities and accessibility advocates can encourage authoring tool vendors to make their tools meet ATAG 2.0. Buyers and purchasing agents of authoring tools can include ATAG 2.0 conformance in Requests for Proposals/Tender, and use ATAG for evaluating the accessibility of tools.
For additional information about ATAG 2.0. see the ATAG Overview. ATAG 2.0 At a Glance provides a summary of the ATAG guidelines. ATAG’s companion document, Implementing ATAG 2.0, gives detailed description of the intent of each success criteria, examples and use cases for the success criteria and additional resources.
ATAG 2.0’s publication as a web standard provides another step forward in making the web more accessible by providing guidance to authoring tool developers on designing more accessible authoring tools that produce more accessible websites.