This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
Collected by Chuck Letourneau
Starling Access Services
ICAAD, the International Committee for Accessible Document Design
Begun in or around 1992. I believe that ICADD has since been absorbed into other standards efforts and has no independent existence.
Originally looking at use of the Standardized Generalize Markup Language (SGML) for electronic publishing to permit automatic transformations of content into alternate formats. Unfortunately, SGML was too complicated for developers and publishers to become widely accepted and used.
HTML, a small subset of SGML primarily intended to share content on the World Wide Web achieved rapid acceptance after 1994 - that language was almost too simple, but it was capable of being made accessible fairly easily. ICADD began looking at using HTML instead of SGML as its standard.
Original member list
Many of the founding members of ICADD moved directly into the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) when the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) launched it in 1997.
DAISY = Digital Audio-based Information System
On the Web: www.daisy.org/
That all published information is available to people with print disabilities, at the same time and at no greater cost, in an accessible, feature-rich, navigable format.
To develop the international standard and implementation strategies for the production, exchange and use of Digital Talking-Books in both developed and developing countries, with special attention to integration with mainstream technology to ensure access to information for people with print disabilities.
The DAISY format is based on the W3C defined SGML ISO 8879 applications XHTML 1.0 and SMIL 1.0. Using this framework, a talking book format is presented that enables navigation within a sequential and hierarchical structure consisting of marked-up text synchronized with audio.
DAISY Members (not including a long list of associate members)
Canadian DAISY Consortium includes
Canada's Visuaide of Montreal makes one of the only two Daisy talking book devices available now. The Victor won a feature and usability "contest" at the CSUN conference last year.
Open eBook Standard
On the Web: www.openebook.org
Initiative announced in 1998 sponsored by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology
The Open eBook Publication Structure (OEBPS) is an XML-based specification for the content, structure, and presentation of electronic books. The OEBPS is maintained by the Open eBook Forum (http://www.openebook.org), a group of over 85 organizations involved in electronic publishing. The current version of OEBPS is 1.0.1.
Q: How is accessibility being addressed by the Open eBook Publication Structure?
A: The Publication Structure incorporates features that ensure that content can be made accessible to persons with disabilities. Specifically, the Publication Structure incorporates accessibility features similar to those defined in W3C's HTML 4.0 and recommendations from the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Authoring Guidelines Recommendation. The OEBPS Working Group is also collaborating closely with members of the accessibility community and with the OeBF's Accessibility SIG.
IMS Global Learning Consortium
In 1997, IMS came into existence as a project within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of EDUCAUSE. While IMS got its start with a focus on higher education, the specifications published to date as well as ongoing projects address requirements in a wide range of learning contexts, including of course K-12 schools and corporate and government training.
The scope for IMS specifications, broadly defined as "distributed learning," includes both online and off-line settings, taking place synchronously (real-time) or asynchronously. This means that the learning contexts benefitting from IMS specifications include Internet-specific environments (such as web-based course management systems) as well as learning situations that involve off-line electronic resources (such as a learner accessing learning resources on a CD-ROM). The learners may be in a traditional educational environment (school classroom, university), in a corporate or government training setting, or at home.
Access Working Group includes
Contributing Member Organizations
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Secretariat
Common Look and Feel standards and guidelines and WATS
On the Web: www.cio-dpi.gc.ca/clf-upe/
The Common Look and Feel policy relates to three aspects of Federal Web site design: consistent branding of all Federal Government programs, consistent and equitable application of Official Languages policies, and consistent and equitable application of accessibility standards.
In brief, the accessibility standards for Federal Web sites require developers to meet all priority 1 and 2 checkpoints of the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (version 1.0) recommendation. This document can be found on the Web at: www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/.
To help federal Web masters and developers understand the requirement for accessible design, and to help them identify problems with their current or emerging designs, the Treasury Board Secretariat has a project called the "Web site Accessibility Testing Service", or WATS. Web masters and designers are invited to watch and learn as persons with disabilities using assistive devices attempt to navigate their Web sites. Information about WATS can be found on the Common Look and Feel Web site.
Other Federal Participation in Standards
The Government of Canada, through funding from the Treasury Board Secretariat, is a supporting sponsor of the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative. Mary Frances Laughton of the Assistive Devices Industry Office is co-chair of the WAI's International Steering Council. Mary Frances also keeps a close watch on DAISY and other standards relating to electronic information.
Industry Canada (through a different group) is a member of the IMS Global Learning Consortium. Yuri Daschko of Industry Canada was instrumental in getting Canadian expertise involved in the accessibility working group.