Spoken interaction with mobile devices and consumer appliances such as smart speakers is now commonplace. Chatbots and similar text-based user interfaces can be included in Web applications. Telephone systems employing speech input and output are widely deployed. The common element in these scenarios is that the user interface operates via a textual, linguistic interaction; in this sense, it is a natural language interface.
To inform the development of future accessibility guidance and any new Web standards that may emerge in connection with voice interfaces or other forms of linguistic interaction, the Research Questions Task Force of the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group has published Natural Language Interface Accessibility User Requirements.
This document is a compilation of user accessibility needs and corresponding requirements intended as a reference for implementers of natural language interfaces and to influence future standardization efforts. It responds to a broad range of sensory, physical, and cognitive needs that users may have in engaging with natural language interfaces, applying but also extending beyond current W3C/WAI guidance.
We welcome your feedback!
Review and comments on the draft are encouraged, including identification of issues that are not yet addressed. The Task Force welcomes additional research-based evidence, comments on the document, and responses to the editor’s notes included in the draft.
This work is supported by the EC WAI-GUIDE Project.