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RE: QUESTION: use of JavaScript to comply with Sect 508 (fwd)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 20:12:34 -0500 (EST)
To: <jim@jimthatcher.com>
cc: WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0101062009040.32745-100000@tux.w3.org>
This comes from a thread on the WAI Interest Group list (obviously...).

I don't think that this group is  responsible for interpreting section 508
(or anyone else's guidelines) beyond actually ensuring that we understand
what the requirements they chose were, why, and whether we agree or disagree
with their reasoning.

On the other hand, the fairly sound practical idea that we should be
indentifying techniques and technologies fits solidly into our scope - it is
one of the things we are working on. So I thought this made a good
jumping-off point for people working on techniques related to dynamic


Charles McCN

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 06 Jan 2001 16:21:40 -0600
From: Jim Thatcher <thatch@attglobal.net>
Reply-To: jim@jimthatcher.com
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: QUESTION: use of JavaScript to comply with Sect 508

I have been following the discussion of JavaScript and 508 with interest. It
is clear, for reasons already mentioned in this thread, that 508 does not
require that your page function with JavaScript turned off. Therefore, for
508 considerations, I believe the discussion of Lynx and down level browsers
is off the table.

Like Reidy, my interpretation of the 508 JavaScript standard (1194.22 (l))
is that the result/effect of JavaScript must be accessible, i.e., available
to assistive technology.

So indeed, accessible JavaScript techniques will help - but perhaps the most
important contribution we can make is to agree to and describe uses of
JavaScript that DO NOT satisfy (a strict interpretation of) the section 508

Here's my first candidate for JavaScript that DOES NOT meet the 508

** Do not use the OnChange event handler to trigger ACTION in a select menu.
If you do, the menu will not work with the keyboard. Note that the OnChange
event can be used for other purposes, like changing the state of a check
box. If onChange is used, focus remain on the select menu. How do we define
actions that are OK and ones that are not?

Accessibility Consulting

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Al Gilman
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2001 10:45 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: QUESTION: use of javascript to comply with Sect 508

At 10:19 AM 2001-01-04 -0500, Beth Skwarecki wrote:
>> Here's the text:
>> (l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to
>> interface elements, the information provided by the script shall be
>> identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.
>  ^^^^^^^^^^
>  [identification, not an equivalent?]
>That sounds like it would be valid just to have text saying "if you can't
>see this DHTML menu, you're missing a really nice DHTML menu. Goodbye."
>Surely that's not what they mean?!


Just as it is easy to read 'identified' in a way that is too loose, it is
to read 'equivalent' in a way that is too tight.  We have had lots of
with people not grasping the optional [rough] implied where we talk about
equivalents.  What is really intended in either case (WCAG or 508) is
in the middle where the stretch to describe it either way is just a little

If we can build a good corpus of good examples, I don't think that we will
a lot of trouble getting those who are trying to comply with 508 to emulate
examples.  "Damn the terminology, full TECHNIQUES ahead!" (see GL list
mobilizing to build techniques in this and other areas)


Received on Saturday, 6 January 2001 20:12:38 UTC

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