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Chapter 3. Accessibility in Law and Poli... > Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

Setting Global Standards

We mentioned that the provisions of Section 508 were based on the work of the W3C. Specifically, Section 508 evolved from the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG), which themselves are the result of years of consensus building with input from numerous individuals, educational institutions, and businesses.

Founded in 1994, the W3C is a consortium of over 500 member organizations, originally organized by the Centre Européen de Recherche Nucléaire (CERN [European Center for Nuclear Research]) and by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Currently, the W3C is led by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web (who was employed at CERN when he wrote the initial proposals for what is now the Web). The W3C has nearly 60 staff and is jointly hosted by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science in the United States, the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) in Europe, and the Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus in Japan. The W3C Web site, http://www.w3.org/, contains a wealth of well-organized materials about the Consortium’s research, guidelines, and progress in creating a World Wide Web that allows for the highest degree of cooperation and information exchange. The ongoing goal of the W3C is to “develop interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential as a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding.” [7]

[7] From the W3C site, accessed May 17, 2002, at http://www.w3.org.


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