Accessibility in XML
XML allows developers to create new markup languages, which may not necessarily incorporate accessibility features. To prevent the proliferation of inaccessible languages, the WAI is developing guidelines—the XML Guidelines (XML GL)—for creating accessible XML documents. The XML GL recommend including a text description, similar to XHT-ML’s <alt> tag, for each non-text object on a page. To facilitate accessibility further, el-ement types should allow grouping and classification and should identify important content. Without an accessible user interface, other efforts to implement accessibility are less effective, so it is essential to create XSLT (Chapter 20) or CSS style sheets that can produce multiple outputs, including document outlines.
Many XML languages, including Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) (discussed in Chapter 33), have implemented several of the WAI guidelines. The WAI XML Accessibility Guidelines can be found at www.w3.org/WAI/PF/xmlgl.htm.
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