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W3C Issues Browser Accessibility Draft

The World Wide Web Consortium this week issued the first public Working Draft of the Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) Accessibility Guidelines: User Agent specification.

The Guidelines were developed to improve usability for everyone that accesses the Web, and focus specifically on the various aspects of browser design, particularly the user interface.

The WAI's User Agent specification provides the industry with guidelines for:

  • presentation adjustability;
  • orientation information;
  • navigation and control;
  • organization of accessibility features;
  • compatibility with a variety of technologies.

The Guidelines also cover key elements of HTML 4.0 and Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 (CSS2), focusing on aspects of browser implementation that are critical to ensure accessibility. Disability organizations, industry, and research organizations involved in the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative collaborated to develop the Accessibility Guidelines.

The first working draft, the "WAI Accessibility Guidelines: User Agent," is actually part of a series of WAI Accessibility Guidelines that cover aspects of Web page authoring, browsers, and authoring tools.

The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative is primarily being developed to:

  • ensure that the core technologies of the Web support accessibility;
  • develop guidelines for page authoring, user agents, and authoring tools;
  • develop evaluation and repair tools for accessibility;
  • conducting education and outreach;
  • track research and development that can affect the future accessibility of the Web.

For additional information about the Web Accessibility Initiative, visit the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative Web site.