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W3C Accessibility - Then, Now, and In-progress

taught by: Jeanne Spellman
co-presented by: Jim Allan, Wayne Dick

Session Summary

Learn the history of W3C Web Accessibility Initiative from some of the people who made it. Learn about the standards and work in progress and how the history has an impact on the future standards.


Join Jim Allan, Wayne Dick, and Jeanne Spellman for a lively history of how today's accessibility standards developed from some of the people who worked on them. Learn how the sausage was made from three survivors of the process. The W3C WAI is currently working on WCAG3. The history is crucial to understanding where WCAG3 is going. Jim has every piece of hardware ever developed for the blind in his basement and led the work on accessible browser and media player standards. Wayne is a professor and researcher who put low vision accessibility needs on the W3C map. Jeanne has had a finger in most W3C accessibility standards since 2008, was a lead developer in the early WCAG3 project, and is an editor on the WCAG3 project.

Practical Skills

  • Learn the highlights of the history of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative and the development of the key web accessibility standards.
  • Learn the how low vision is a case study for technological change and a deeper understanding of disability -- that low vision is different from blindness and standards written for blindness were not effective for people with low vision.