Feeds

W3C sets specs for browser, player accessibility

Usability

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Standards for accessibility to browsers and multimedia players have been hammered out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) after four-years' work.

The Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 1.0 were ratified this week and set standards for developers of audio and video players, and web browser applications so products can be easily used by people with impairments or disabilities.

UAAG 1.0 was developed by the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines working group, formed in 1998, with input from leading browser or media vendors such as Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Netscape Inc, Opera and RealNetworks Inc.

The standards follow on from W3C's earlier work for accessibility to web sites and authoring tools - the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines were published in May 1999 and the Authoring Tools Accessibility Guidelines, to simplify tools and coding used to build accessibility features, appeared in February 2000.

The W3C's latest standards are designed to provide developers with a consistent set of guidelines for adding accessibility features when building applications. Presently, accessibility guidelines are fragmented according to geographical, industry, vendor or specific disabilities or conditions.

For example, the US government adheres to section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act for accessibility to web sites and generic computer software. However, section 508 is regarded as a "starting point" not a full standard, the W3C said, while different accessibility rules and guidelines also exist in Japan and Europe.

Also, while some browser and media players already support accessibility features, such as audio description of a web page, such features can be difficult to access because there is no prescribed standard of development.

Janet Brewer, W3C director of the web accessibility initiative, said: "The W3C was asked by a number of partners in different countries to take on the initiative and work with solutions that will be well adopted."

UAAG 1.0 sets standards in a number of areas, including voice recognition, screen readers to describe the contents of a web page verbally, screen magnifiers and enlargement. Test suites and W3C documentation is also available.

Early, partial implementations of UAAG 1.0 are in progress from IBM, Microsoft and Adobe among others.

© ComputerWire

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?
How keen will buyers be when exposed to the real price?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Ex-Autonomy execs: HP's latest wad blows apart fraud allegations
Top bods claim IT titan's latest court filing is smoking gun of 'reckless aggression'
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Elon Musk says Tesla's stock price is too high ... welp, NOT ANY MORE
As Nevada throws the SpaceX supremo a $1.25bn bone
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.