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The aim of the work of the DC-Accessibility Working Group is to ensure that DC metadata users can describe resources and services in a way that will increase the accessibility of information for everyone. This supports the 'AccessForAll' approach to accessibility that differs from previous reliance solely on good resource design and construction. The AccessForAll approach:
There has been a proposal for a new DC term for some time. This is because adaptation of resources is of interest to many users but currently there is no standard way to indicate the adaptability of resources. There are a number of different communities interested in such adaptability e.g. those concerned with:
The aim of the DC Accessibility WG has been to use such a term in an accessibility application profile and to this end, such a profile has been proposed. The definition of 'accessibility' is wide to include a range of definitions, particularly including those based on the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
All the work done to date has been done in collaboration with others also working on accessibility metadata. The work started with two metadata profiles developed by IMS Global Consortium: one for describing the needs and preferences of individual users and the other for describing the resources they might want to use. This work was adopted by the ISO JTC1 SC36 WG7 and is now in final committee draft stage prior to becoming an ISO standard. See Framework, Digital Resource Description and Personal Needs and Preferences docs.
The first Digital Resource Accessibility Application Profile is designed to enable matching of resources and services to people's needs and preferences for display, control and content. Another is expected to follow that will enable matching the accessibility of places and events. This matching is particularly important when users have limitations for any of these, for whatever reason. It is, of course, essential for some users with physical or cognitive disabilities. Microsoft's research shows that more than 60% of existing users will benefit if digital resource adaptations are possible. Inconvenience and frustration will be lessened if it is possible to find out about events and paces in advance of arriving at them. We are concerned that the number of people suffering disabilities is increasing as populations around the world age. If the accessibility of resources, services, events and places are described in standard ways, many more people will be able to find what they want.
The Working Group participants are, by DCMI definition, all those on the mailing list. The Task Group is a smaller group of people who work intensively and meet weekly by teleconference. Anyone interested in contributing will be welcomed - there is a lot of work to be done and everyone has something to contribute!
Discussion about any of the work should be directed to the DC-Accessibility Working Group's mailing list.
The aim of the work of the DC-Accessibility Working Group is to ensure that DC metadata users can describe resources and services in a way that will increase the accessibility of information for everyone.
*Seek formal liaison of DCMI with ISO JTC1 to work on adaptability standards (including accessibility standards) in JTC1 SWG-Accessibility and SC36 WG7 and other contexts
The aim is to develop an application profile for accessibility in 2006. Other activities will possibly depend upon the success of this activity.
The DC Accessibility Working Group main mailing list is: http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/dc-accessibility.html This list is used for open discussion and for reporting of Task Group work. It is also available for notification of the community of other activites that may be of interest. Practitioners may use it to seek help from their peers.
The DC-Accessibility Working Group seeks the addition of a term 'adaptability' with the label 'adaptability statement' in order to enable accessibility metadata to be used in the description of resources.
The Working Group's approach to accessibility depends upon not just accessible content (WCAG conformant?) being created in the beginning, with good authoring tools (ATAG conformant), for use with good user agents (UAAG compliant) but also that responsibility for accessible content delivery be taken by the server. This is a shift from earlier approaches which depended solely on WCAG/ATAG/UAAG conformance. It is consistent with other work that aims to provide more device flexibility for users, and so more information mobility. It does not avoid the need for content authoring to be done according to the WCAG Guidelines.
To join or leave:
There have been a number of activities of relevance to this Working Group. (If others know of relevant activities, please let us know!)
Members of the Dublin Core™ Community who met in Tokyo at DC2001 Workshop considered the need for DCMI to demonstrate its concern for accessibility of Web content by exemplifying good accessibility practices and providing a context for others who also take time to make their content accessible.