The IMS Accessibility workgroup activities focus on adaptation or personalization of resources, interfaces and content to meet the needs of individuals. The group believes the best way to make a system or resource accessible to an individual is by meeting an individual's particular needs immediately within the learning context. Doing so decreases exclusion and increases usability. 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.
Why Implement IMS Accessibility Specifications?
Authors and web developers need to be aware of a myriad of parts when it comes to accessibility. This simple graphic shows a construct from content creation to the laws that govern accessibility standards.
- Legal requirements and International standards
Accessibility legislation seeks to remove barriers to the online learning experience. Legislation is based on the W3C WCAG 2.0 guidelines and informed by independent international standards experts.
- Accessibility Settings and Assistive Technologies
Accessibility settings ensure access through native internal browser settings and external access through a user's assistive technology device (e.g., screen readers).
- Platforms, Third Party Software and Digital Products
Websites can be designed to be more accessible by their conformance to standards and best-practice design principles. This may include accessibility features such as tabbing. navigation and alternative text for images.
- Interoperability and Personal Needs and Preference
Interoperability is the ability of a system or a product to interconnect with other systems and products. IMS Global's EPUB 3 establishes an accessible, open ecosystem for e-Textbooks and other Digital Learning Materials. IMS Global’s AccessForAll™ Personal Needs & Preferences specification gives each user the ability to select personal accessibility needs and preferences and to control the release and presentation of that information within those systems.
- Inclusive Design and Assessment
Products and services that have inclusive design are accessible and usable by all without special modication or design. The assessment process also includes determining specific learning needs and defining the end goal of instruction in order to create assessments that assist in the student’s success.
- Content creation
Content authors choosing accessibility-enhanced authoring tools and learning strategies can support accessible content creation and a student’s ability to learn without barriers.
- IMS AccessForAll v2.0 (31 October 2009)
- IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification v1.0 (12 July 2004)
- IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP v1.0 (18 June 2003)
- IMS Guidelines for Developing Accessible Learning Applications v1.0 (July 2002)
- IMS AccessForAll v3.0 (12 September 2012)
The Accessibility Workgroup has released a public draft of IMS AccessforAll v3.0. The public draft is provided so that implementers have the opportunity to begin work and provide comments before production of the final specification.
This specification 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.
The project group is seeking feedback from the community to ensure the value of the final specification.
The 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 project group expects to produce bindings and tools for additional technologies.
Please post comments in the public forum. There is an online validator here where files may be tested. A link to a JSON validator is provided in the JSON notes - however, the JSON validator is not an IMS product and may not be used for conformance.
IMS AccessForAll - Version 3 Public Draft Specification - HTML
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Primer
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Best Practice & Implementation Guide
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Core Profiles
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Information Model Data Element Specification
IMS AccessForAll (AfA) Digital Resource Description Specification Information Model
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Digital Resource Description (DRD) Binding
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Personal Needs & Preferences (PNP) Specification Information Model (Public Draft 2, updated 18 January 2021)
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Personal Needs & Preferences (PNP) Binding (Public Draft 2, updated 18 January 2021)
IMS AccessforAll (AfA) Personal Needs & Preferences (PNP) XSD Checklist (Public Draft 2, updated 18 January 2021)
Access for All JSON Bindings - Note these are not IMS Approved Bindings, but are provided for the benefit of the community. They may not be used for any type of IMS Conformance to the AccessForAll Specification.
IMS AccessForAll - Version 3 Public Draft Specification - XML Examples and Schemas
IMS AccessForAll - Version 3 Public Draft Specification - PDF
IMS AccessForAll v2.0 Final Specification
In July 2003, IMS released IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP v1.0 and in August 2004 'AccessForAll Metadata v1.0' . Under agreement, these documents were adopted by ISO/IEC SC36 resulting in the publication, in 2008, of:
- ISO/IEC 24751-1 AccessForAll Framework and Reference Model;
- ISO/IEC 24751-2 AccessForAll Digital Resource Description;
- ISO/IEC 24751-3 AccessForAll Personal Needs and Preferences for Digital Delivery.
Users must purchase these documents from ISO/IEC. The ISO/IEC standard changed the original work to such an extent that there are significant changes in the information model. Also, ISO/IEC did not publish an XSD binding.
As a result, IMS has decided to publish a new set of AccessForAll documents that are consistent with the ISO/IEC ones (They will be technically identical but combine the IMS and ISO/IEC documentation styles). The IMS approach means that it is also possible for us to easily generate and supply the corresponding XSD binding files. This document set is Access For All v2.0.
The new Access For All v2.0 document set from IMS will consist of two documents:
1) Access For All Digital Resource Description (which is taken from Access For All Metadata v1.0 );
2) Access For All Personal Needs and Preferences for Digital Delivery (which is taken from IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP v1.).
IMS AccessForAll - Version 2 Final Specification - HTML
IMS AccessForAll - Version 2 Final Specification - XML Examples and Schemas
IMS AccessForAll - Version 2 Final Specification - PDF
IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification
The AccessForAll Meta-data specification is intended to make it possible to identify resources that match a user's stated preferences or needs. These preferences or needs would be declared using the IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP specification. The needs and preferences addressed include the need or preference for alternative presentations of resources, alternative methods of controlling resources, alternative equivalents to the resources themselves and enhancements or supports required by the user. The specification provides a common language for identifying and describing the primary or default resource and equivalent alternatives for that resource.
This work represents open collaboration between working group members from IMS, Dublin Core, IEEE, CEN-ISSS, Eduspecs as well as other groups. The AccessForAll Meta-data specification is a proposed unified approach to matching user needs and preferences with the resources that address those needs and preferences across the participating specifications bodies.
IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification - Version 1 Final Specification - HTML
- IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Overview
- IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Information Model
- IMS AccessForAll Meta-data XML Binding
- IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Best Practice Guide
IMS AccessForAll Meta-data Specification - Version 1 Final Specification - XML Examples and Schemas
- Download all the Examples and Schemas (zip file)
IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP
The Accessibility for LIP defines two new sub-schemas for the IMS Learning Information Package that define a means to specify accessibility preferences and learner accommodations. These preferences go beyond support for disabled people to include kinds of accessibility needs such as mobile computing, noisy environments, etc. The <accessForAll> element defines accessibility preferences that were left for future work in the IMS Learner Information Package (LIP) specification version 1.0. The "accessibility" data structure includes the following elements: <language>, <preference>, <eligibility>, and <disability> in the LIP. This specification adds the <accessForAll> element under <accessibility> because it is intended to address the needs of learners beyond those with disabilities. The <disability> element is deprecated henceforth.
The Accessibility for Learner Information Package v1 Final Specification was approved by the IMS Technical Advisory Board in July 2003. Comments and Questions on the final specification should be posted in the Accessibility forum here.
IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP - Version 1 Final Specification - HTML
- IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP Best Practice Guide
- IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP XML Binding
- IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP Information Model
- IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP Conformance Specification
- IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP Use Cases
***Note: The documents above contain refererences to a incorrect schemas and examples. The correct schema and examples are below. The changes to the documentation will be corrected during maintenance for Learner Information Package v1.1***
IMS Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP - Version 1 Final Specification - XML Examples and Schemas
- Download all the Examples and Schemas (zip file)
Learner Information Package Accessibility for LIP - Version 1 - PDF
IMS Guidelines for Developing Accessible Learning Applications
The following set of guidelines developed by the IMS Accessibility Working Group will provide a framework for the distributed learning community. This framework will set the stage for what solutions currently exist, what the opportunities and possibilities are for implementing them, and the areas where more development and innovation are still needed in educational technologies to ensure education that is truly accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Version 1 White Paper - HTML
- IMS Guidelines for Developing Accessible Learning Applications
- IMS Guidelines for Developing Accessible Learning Applications (Italian Translation)
Version 1 White Paper- PDF