World Wide Web Consortium Issues User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 as a Candidate Recommendation

Author(s) and publish date

Published: -- 13 September 2001 -- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today invited developers to implement Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines for designing browsers, multimedia players, and other Web software that will be more accessible to people with disabilities. W3C published the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 1.0 as a Candidate Recommendation to notify developers that the technical report is considered stable and mature enough for implementation.

UAAG 1.0 completes three-pronged Web accessibility solution

UAAG 1.0 explains how keyboard navigation, control over multimedia rendering, configuration options, documentation, communication with specialized software such as speech synthesizers or screen magnifiers, and other user interface features benefit people with visual, hearing, physical, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. For instance, required keyboard support will benefit people who cannot use a mouse, such as those with blindness or a physical disability.

The software features described in UAAG 1.0 complete the accessibility solution already described in part in two other guidelines published by W3C's WAI:

  • The W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 Recommendation explains to authors how to create accessible Web content.
  • The W3C's Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 1.0 Recommendation explains to software developers how to design authoring tools that are accessible to authors with disabilities, and that produce accessible Web content.

Candidate Recommendation status a call to implementors

The W3C Process Document describes how technical reports mature on the way to Recommendation status. Advancement of a technical report to Candidate Recommendation is an explicit call for implementation experience to those outside of the related Working Groups or the W3C itself.

"Candidate Recommendation is a critical phase in the life of the UAAG 1.0," says Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Chair of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (UAWG). "Our Working Group invites developers to comprehensively address software accessibility by implementing these guidelines. We look forward to helping developers understand and implement these guidelines."

Prior to becoming a Candidate Recommendation, UAAG 1.0 received extensive public technical review by many developers, including:

  • Software developers: Adobe, AOL, IBM, Microsoft, Netscape, Opera, RealNetworks, and Sun;
  • Assistive technology developers: Alva, Freedom-Scientific, GW-Micro, and interNext;

A preliminary implementation report lists which features required by UAAG 1.0 have already been implemented in some deployed software.

About the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative addresses accessibility of the Web through five complementary activities that:

  • Ensure that the technology of the Web supports accessibility
  • Develop accessibility guidelines
  • Coordinate tool development to facilitate evaluation and repair of Web sites
  • Conduct education and outreach
  • Coordinate with research and development

WAI's International Program Office enables partnering of industry, disability organizations, accessibility research organizations, and governments interested in creating an accessible Web. WAI sponsors include the US Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; the European Commission's Information Society Technologies Programme; Government of Canada, Industry Canada's Assistive Devices Industry Office; IBM; Microsoft; Verizon; and Wells Fargo. Additional information on WAI is available at

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, over 500 organizations are Members of the Consortium. For more information see


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