W3C recommends online accessibility guidelines

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has issued recommendations to ensure that the Internet is accessible to people with disabilities.

Last week, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based standards group published its recommended guidelines for designing Web browsers, multimedia players and other Web software that will be more accessible to people with disabilities.

Called the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, these recommendations complete a three-pronged approach by the W3C to make the Web more accessible. The organization's other proposed guidelines deal with designing accessible Web content and authoring tools.

Judy Brewer, director of Web accessibility initiatives at the W3C, said the recommendations spell out how developers can address Web accessibility by implementing the guidelines.

She said the guidelines detail how such things as keyboard navigation and communication with specialized software benefit people with visual, hearing, physical, cognitive and neurological disabilities. Such software includes speech synthesizers, screen magnifiers and other user interface features.

For example, she said, user interface designers can develop ways for people who are blind, or have a physical disability, to use keyboard commands, rather than a mouse and cursor, to navigate the Web.

For the hearing-impaired, developers could build in text captions for multimedia presentations, Brewer said. And for users who may be color blind, the W3C recommends that developers give people some control over the user interface's appearance.

Brewer said the W3C hopes to make final recommendations by the end of the year.

The W3C, with more than 520 member organizations, develops common protocols that promote Web interoperability.

Members of the working group include Adobe Systems Inc., America Online Inc. subsidiary Netscape Communications Corp., Apple Computer Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp., Nokia Corp., Quark Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Xerox Corp.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Linda Rosencrance

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?