Accessibility Guidelines

The W3C has selected the Web Science Institute and the University of Southampton to host its UK and Ireland Office. The office will be staffed by and Office manager, Susan Davies, Coordination Manager for the WSI and a Senior Advisor, Professor Leslie Carr, Director of the WSI Centre for Doctoral Training. The W3C offices are local points of contact for the W3C and work to bring the W3C and its specifications to an international audience.

Read the W3C press Release

Following the announcement that the regulations for web accessibility proposed by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in 2010 under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be further delayed, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has condemned the delay. While the rule making has been delayed, many companies and organizations are choosing to conform to the WCAG 2.0 Level AA guidelines for Web Accessibility in advance of the final rule making. 

The Timed Text Working Group at the W3C invites implementation of the Candidate Recommendation of TTML Profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions 1.0 (IMSC1)

The document specifies two profiles:

  • Text-only
  • Image-only

These profiles are meant to be used across subtitle and caption delivery applications globally to simplify interoperability, consistent rendering and conversion to other subtitling and captioning formats.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has said that it doesn’t expect regulations for accessibility for non-government websites until 2018. More than five years ago in 2010 the agency released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability; Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Government Entities and Public Accommodations. In summary, the DOJ is considering revising the regulation implementing title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to establish requirement for making the goods, services, facilities, privileges, accommodation or advantages offered by public accommodations via the Internet, specifically at sites on the World Wide Web (Web), accessible to individuals with disabilities.

 In a recent Statement of Regulatory Priorities the DOJ stated that, “The Department is including for disability nondiscrimination rulemaking initiative in its Regulatory plan,” among other things, “Accessibility of Web Information and Services of State and Local Governments.” However, it goes on to state that this and other priorities in the rule making agenda, “will be included in the Departments long-term actions for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.” 

A draft redesign of How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements (success criteria) and techniques was published November 18, 2015. The draft was published by the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group (WCAG WG).

This quick reference is intended to replace the current How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference. Comments on the user interface and the filtering is due by 2 December, preferably via GitHub, or alternatively via e-mail to wai-eo-editors@w3.org.

A new charter for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group (WG) was approved by W3C after review from the W3C Member organizations. This will allow for the exploration to provide guidelines beyond WCAG 2.0 for the first time since WCAG 2.0 was finalized in 2008.

The continuing development and evolution of technologies drive the need for new guidance. The WCAG Working Group has started developing a framework for WCAG 2.0 extensions. These additional documents will be separate and increase the coverage on particular accessibility needs.  Organizations that have policies built around WCAG 2.0 alone would not be impacted, however, authors and policy-makers would have the option to meet the guidelines in one or more of the extensions.  

Read more on the Extensions to WCAG 2.0

Video game consoles, services and software are covered by the 20-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA.)  The CVAA requires video game equipment software and related services to be accessible and to be usable by individuals with disabilities.  However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is allowed to grant waivers of the CVAA’S accessibility requirements in cases where the equipment, services or software is designed primarily for purposes other than communication.  The FCC previously granted a waiver until October 8, 2015 for the following categories of video gaming services and equipment.

  • Class I– Game consoles, both home and handheld, and their peripherals and integrated online networks, which are designed for multiple entertainment purposes but with a primary purpose of playing games.
  • Class II– Game distribution and online game play services designed for the primary purpose of distributing online game software or enabling online game play across a network.
  • Class III– Software designed for the primary purpose of game play. Game software means playable games on any hardware or online platform, including, but not limited to, dedicated game consoles, PCs, mobile devices, and the Internet (i.e. browser based games).

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has asked the FCC for a 15 month waiver only for class III video game software.  This means that consoles and online point game play services will comply with the CVAA by October 8.

Comments on the waiver request are due at the FCC on July 9 and reply comments are due on July 20. 

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