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The W 3 C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Inclusive learning through technology Damien French
Lecture aim • To introduce the W 3 C and the work of the W 3 C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). • To briefly introduce web accessibility as part of this.
W 3 C • The World Wide Web Consortium (W 3 C) is the main international standards organisation for the Web. • Ensures compatibility and agreement among industry members in the adoption of new standards. • In cooperation with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
W 3 C/IETF • TCP/IP and Internet protocol suite (IETF). • HTML, XML, DOM, SOAP and many others (W 3 C).
W 3 C Process • • • Members / team generate interest in a topic and a workshop held and/or discussion on an Advisory Committee mailing list. Director announces proposal for a new activity or working group charter. Includes working groups, interest groups and possibly coordination groups to carry out the work.
W 3 C Process • • Participants include member representatives, invited experts and team representatives. Specifications and guidelines undergo cycles of revision and review as they advance to W 3 C Recommendation status.
W 3 C principles • Web for all. – Web Accessibility Initiative. – Internationalisation. – Mobile Web for Social Development. • Web on everything. – Web of devices. – Mobile web initiative. – Browsers and other agents.
Web for all • “The social value of the Web is that it enables human communication, commerce, and opportunities to share knowledge. One of W 3 C’s primary goals is to make these benefits available to all people, whatever their hardware, software, network infrastructure, native language, culture, geographical location, or physical or mental ability. ”
WAI mission and organization • WAI develops: – Guidelines widely regarded as the international standard for Web accessibility. – Support materials to help understand implement Web accessibility. – Resources, through international collaboration.
WAI Groups • • • Authoring Tools Working Group (AUWG) Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) Evaluation Tools Working Group (ERT WG) Protocols & Formats Working Group (PFWG) Research and Development Interest Group (RDIG) User Agent Working Group (UAWG) WAI Interest Group (WAI IG) Web Content Working Group (WCAG WG) WAI Coordination Group (member only).
‘WAI Technical Activity’ • Reviews accessibility support across all W 3 C specifications. • Develops the WAI-ARIA suite of resources for making Rich Internet Applications accessible. • Works through the Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG).
‘WAI Technical Activity’ • Also promotes implementation of accessibility improvements in Web technologies. • Develops WAI guidelines as Recommendations.
‘WAI Technical Activity’ • The guidelines describe accessibility features needed to achieve different levels of accessibility, and include reference checklists and implementation techniques. • The WAI Technical Activity also develops techniques to improve tools for evaluation and repair of Web sites, through the work of the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG).
Web accessibility • Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the Web. • It means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web, and that they can contribute to the Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to aging.
Web accessibility • Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.
Web accessibility • Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities. – Includes designing Web sites and software that are flexible to meet different user needs, preferences, and situations. – Benefits people such as those using a slow Internet connection, people with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm, and people with changing abilities due to aging.
Why is it important? • The Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life: education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and more. • Accessibility provides equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. • An accessible Web can also help people with disabilities more actively participate in society. • Web accessibility is often required by law.
Components of web accessibility • Content. – Including text, images, and sounds, code or markup that defines structure, presentation. • Web browsers, media players, and other user agents. • Assistive technology. – Screen readers, alternative keyboards, switches, scanning software, etc. • Users’ knowledge, experiences, and adaptive strategies using the Web.
Components of web accessibility • Developers. – Designers, coders, authors, etc. , including developers with disabilities and users who contribute content. • Authoring tools. – Software that creates Web sites. • Evaluation tools. – Web accessibility evaluation tools, HTML validators, CSS validators, etc.
Guidelines for components • Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) – Addresses authoring tools. • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) – Addresses Web content, and is used by developers, authoring tools, and accessibility evaluation tools. • User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) – Addresses Web browsers and media players, including some aspects of assistive technologies.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) • 12 guidelines. • Organised under 4 principles. – Perceivable. – Operable. – Understandable. – Robust.
Perceivable • Provide text alternatives for non-text content. • Provide captions and alternatives for audio and video content. • Make content adaptable; and make it available to assistive technologies. • Use sufficient contrast to make things easy to see and hear.
Operable • Make all functionality keyboard accessible. • Give users enough time to read and use content. • Do not use content that causes seizures. • Help users navigate and find content.
Understandable • Make text readable and understandable. • Make content appear and operate in predictable ways. • Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
Robust • Maximize compatibility with current and future technologies.
The WCAG 2. 0 Documents