The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) serve as a guide to developers and user-agent vendors. It outlines the process for making Web browsers, media players, and assistive technologies (software that some people with disabilities use in interacting with computers) accessible to people with disabilities.
UAAG technical documents are developed by the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (UAWG), which is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The WAI guidelines are based on the fundamental technical specifications of the Web, and are developed in coordination with W3C technical specifications (HTML, XML, CSS, SVG, SMIL, etc.).
Figure 1: The relationship between the different Web accessibility guidelines within W3C.
UAAG guidelines benefit people with disabilities using the Web on mobile devices
WAI is investing effort in providing guidance to managers, designers, developers, policy makers, researchers, and others to create accessible and usable technology for use by people with disabilities as well as by all people whatever their abilities, age, Socio-economic background, education, geographic location, language, etc. Special focus is being made in the area of Mobile Devices. Since mobile devices now consume a significant part of our time, understanding how people with disabilities use web devices is a key to providing solutions for making websites that are accessible to them and usable on mobile devices. Accessibility of web browsers is covered in the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). On June 6, 2013, WAI published a special version of UAAG highlighting examples of how web browsers that UAAG 2.0 follow UAAG 2.0 benefit people with disabilities using the Web on mobile devices.
The user stories mentioned in this new version of are real life stories. I have a personal example of my own. My sister is deaf from birth. Her husband is blind and hearing impaired. With today's mobile technology and the implementation of the UAAG guidelines they are able to enjoy the technology that is available to people without disabilities. This way, they are part of the society and part of progress. Furthermore, they are able to upgrade their communication capabilities. As web developers, content designers, and usability professionals become more aware of the need and the evolving guidelines, the experience is bound to improve even more.
It is important to understand the needs of people with disabilities and the ways they interact with mobile devices in order to design platforms and user interfaces that will decrease the barriers to Web accessibility and web content. It is equally important for the platform designers and developers of assistive technologies to understand what needs to be done in order to provide software components that will be able to communicate and interact with each other. The UAAG 2.0 provides all this information, implementation guidelines, and recommendations to meet these goals.