[Accessforall] IMS AfA 3.0 release

Andy Heath andyheath at axelrod.plus.com
Wed Oct 24 01:50:20 EDT 2012

The IMS Accessibility project group has released a public draft of the
Access for All v3.0 specification. The public draft is provided so that
implementers have the opportunity to begin work and provide comments
before production of the final specification.

IMS Access for All defines shared vocabularies for describing both users'
accessibility needs and the accessibility properties of learning
resources, allowing a learning system to match or adapt resources to meet
the user's needs. Access for All posits that the best way to make a system
or resource accessible to an individual is by meeting that individual's
particular needs at that time in that context. Doing so not only decreases
exclusion, it also increases usability for everyone. It is an effective
way to meet legal accessibility requirements in many jurisdictions and has
many business advantages for expanding the market of potential customers
and users.

Access For All preferences are not meant to convey medical information.
Instead, they include information about how the user can interact best
with a computer. A user's need for specific kinds of content, display
features, or control mechanisms are recorded. This information can then be
used to select or request appropriate adapted content, configure a visual
display for easy reading, or locate resources that match the user's
control requirements. For example, users may request captions for audio or
video clips if they cannot hear, or if they are working in a noisy place,
or are in a quiet place where playing audio would disturb other people.

Version 3 takes a different approach to the data model than earlier
versions with the aim  to ease the path for early adopter organizations.
The data model is small but easily extendable and includes a Core Profile
that gives an even smaller and tighter set of essential elements.

IMS is  seeking feedback from the community to ensure the value of the
final specification.

This first release of  the specification has a high level model that has a
UML representation from which XML Schemas are derived. JSON bindings of
the specifications are also available. The IMS project group expects to
produce bindings and tools for additional technologies.

For more information, visit: http://www.imsglobal.org/accessibility/

The IMS Accessibility Project Group:
Anastasia Cheetham, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University
Andy Heath, Axelrod Access for All
Madeleine Rothberg, WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
Rich Schwertdfeger, IBM


Andy Heath

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