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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)'s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an effort to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web (WWW or Web) for people with disabilities. People with disabilities may encounter difficulties when using computers generally, but also on the Web. Since people with disabilities often require non-standard devices and browsers, making websites more accessible also benefits a wide range of user agents and devices, including mobile devices, which have limited resources.

The W3C launched the Web Accessibility in 1997 with endorsement by The White House and W3C members. It has several working groups and interest groups that work on guidelines, technical reports, educational materials and other documents that relate to the several different components of web accessibility. These components include web content, web browsers and media players, authoring tools, and evaluation tools.
WAI develops guidelines and other technical reports through the same process as other parts of the W3C. Like other W3C initiatives, the WAI consists of several working groups and interest groups, each with its own focus. Only working groups can produce technical reports that become W3C recommendations. A working group can sometimes delegate specific work to a task force, which then presents its results back to the working group for approval. Interest groups may produce reports (for example, as W3C Notes), but not recommendations. Each of these types of groups (working group, task force, interest group) can have one or more mailing lists. They meet through conference calls at regular intervals (typically every week or every other week) and sometimes use web-based surveys to collect input or comments from participants. They can also meet face to face (one to five times per year).

Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AUWG)

The Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group develops guidelines, techniques and supporting resources for tools that create web content, ranging from desktop HTML editors to content management systems. The accessibility requirements apply to two types of things: the user interface on the one hand, and the content produced by the tool on the other. The working group consists of representatives from organizations that produce authoring tools, researchers, and other accessibility experts. The working group produced the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 in 2000 and is currently working on Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. It also published a document on Selecting and Using Authoring Tools for Web Accessibility.

Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG)

The Education and Outreach Working Group develops materials for training and education on Web accessibility. This working group has produced documents on a wide range of subjects, including:

- Accessibility Features of CSS
- Curriculum for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
- Evaluating Web Sites for Accessibility, a suite of documents about subjects such as conformance evaluation, evaluation approaches for specific contexts, involving users in web accessibility evaluation, and selecting web accessibility evaluation tools
- Planning Web Accessibility Training
- Developing a Web Accessibility Business Case for Your Organization
- How People with Disabilities Use the Web, a document that describes various fictitious characters with disabilities and how they use the Web in different scenarios
- many introduction pages on the WAI website.

Currently, the working group has a task force to support the work done in the WAI-AGE project. This project published a document that reviews literature about the needs of older users and compares these needs with those of people with disabilities as already addressed in WAI guidelines.

The Education and Outreach Working Group can also review working drafts produced by other WAI working groups.