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RE: Section 508 Question on Javascript - Section 1194.22, Paragraph (l)

From: Jim Thatcher <thatch@attglobal.net>
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 19:21:41 -0600
To: "1 W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Katie Haritos-Shea <kshea@apollo.fedworld.gov>, Kynn Bartlett <kynn@reef.com>
Cc: "W3c-Wai-Ig@W3. Org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <NDBBKJDAKKEJDCICIODLMECFCNAA.thatch@attglobal.net>
I don't think folks in glass houses should throw stones. I have been asking
about the content of WCAG checkpoints whose wording has been baffling to me,
ones that appear verbatim in the 508 standards. The wording about "logical
complexity" for tables and titles for frames, are examples. We all do our
best. I believe this group does, and the Access Board does.

As far as the quality of the minds working on 508 and WAI efforts - hey -
high quality all around. Kynn, I so often agree with you, but on the recent
statements you have made in this thread, I think you are WAY out of line.

I believe the fundamental idea behind the Access Board's item on JavaScript
is simple. They realize that JavaScript is necessary, even for some of the
other 508 standards, so they say, if you use Java Script it must be
accessible.

You might consider that a cop-out, a circularity. I do in a sense, because I
want to tell web developers what to do and not to do to be accessible
without going into details about assistive technology or how folks with
disabilities use the web.

But JavaScript is a programming language. Really, really, the only way to
not take that cop-out, is to take the WCAG approach, in effect, banning its
significant use.

The Access Board recognized that that was not acceptable, that there are
important (and accessible) uses of JavaScript. So they said yes use
JavaScript but use it in such a way that the result can be accessed with
assistive technology.

Good for them.

Jim
jim@jimthatcher.com
Accessibility Consulting
http://jimthatcher.com
512-306-0931

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Kynn Bartlett
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2001 4:20 PM
To: Katie Haritos-Shea; 1 W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines List
Subject: RE: Section 508 Question on Javascript - Section 1194.22,
Paragraph (l)


At 11:47 AM 2/13/2001, Katie Haritos-Shea wrote:
>Please don't fault Doug for the loopholes and missing pieces, as we all
>know, new issues are developing every day, as well as the fact that this is
>one complicated mess of differing technologies coming together.

I'm not faulting Doug, but it's true that there are poorly written
requirements and that makes it hard for people (such as federal
employees, web contractors, or even educators such as myself) to
understand what exactly is required.

>And, every
>group writing standards do not necessarily have the luxury of having the
>finest technological minds available for each and every issue.

That seems sorta weird, to me.  The W3C manages to get by with
hundreds of brilliant people working on their issues, many of whom
in WAI do it as a volunteer effort -- and yet on an issue that is
going to cost the U.S. federal government millions if not billions
of dollars, they didn't have the "luxury" of recruiting the finest
minds?

The impact of 508 is estimated to be as high as $1B per year, and
they couldn't find the money to get it right the first time?  I'm
confused by your statements, Katie.  (I realize that they may not
represent official access board statements.)

--Kynn
Received on Tuesday, 13 February 2001 20:24:21 GMT

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