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Created: December 17, 2002.
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W3C Publishes User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 as a Recommendation.

W3C has announced the release of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 specification as a Recommendation, together with a companion document Techniques for User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Written mainly for software developers, UAAG 1.0 "addresses requirements such as accessibility of the user interface, rendering of accessibility information, and user choice in configuring browsers and media players. These guidelines also address interoperability of mainstream browsers and multimedia players with assistive technologies used by people with disabilities. UAAG 1.0 is third in a complementary set of Web accessibility guidelines which already include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0) and the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (ATAG 1.0). All three guidelines (UAAG, WCAG, ATAG) have been developed by W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Over the past five years WAI has become recognized as the leading international authority on Web accessibility, addressing accessibility issues for users with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive, and neurological disabilities through device-independent, multimodal design. Together these three WAI guidelines help Web developers deliver on the promise of a universal Web that is accessible to all. UAAG 1.0 addresses a variety of user agent types including HTML and XHTML browsers, multimedia players, graphics viewers, and assistive technologies. Software that conforms to UAAG 1.0 is expected to be more flexible, manageable, extensible, and beneficial to all users."

Bibliographic information: User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. W3C Recommendation 17-December-2002. Edited by Ian Jacobs (W3C), Jon Gunderson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Eric Hansen (Educational Testing Service). Version URL: Latest version URL: Previous version URL: Also in single HTML file and ZIP archive HTML formats.

Abstract: "This document provides guidelines for designing user agents that lower barriers to Web accessibility for people with disabilities (visual, hearing, physical, cognitive, and neurological). User agents include HTML browsers and other types of software that retrieve and render Web content. A user agent that conforms to these guidelines will promote accessibility through its own user interface and through other internal facilities, including its ability to communicate with other technologies (especially assistive technologies). Furthermore, all users, not just users with disabilities, should find conforming user agents to be more usable. In addition to helping developers of HTML browsers and media players, this document will also benefit developers of assistive technologies because it explains what types of information and control an assistive technology may expect from a conforming user agent. Technologies not addressed directly by this document (e.g., technologies for braille rendering) will be essential to ensuring Web access for some users with disabilities."

The companion document Techniques for User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 has been published as a W3C Note. This document "provides techniques for satisfying the checkpoints defined in User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. These techniques address key aspects of the accessibility of user interfaces, content rendering, application programming interfaces (APIs), and languages such as the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL). The techniques listed in this document are not required for conformance to the Guidelines. These techniques are not necessarily the only way of satisfying the checkpoint, nor are they a definitive set of requirements for satisfying a checkpoint."

"The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) in coordination with organizations around the world, pursues accessibility of the Web through five primary areas of work: technology, guidelines, tools, education and outreach, and research and development. WAI is supported in part by: the U.S. Department of Education's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; European Commission's Information Society Technologies Programme; Canada's Assistive Devices Industry Office; Elisa Communications; Microsoft Corporation; IBM; SAP, Verizon Foundation, and Wells Fargo."

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