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RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

From: Lee Roberts <leeroberts@roserockdesign.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2004 14:35:56 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20040720193624.8B590A1C0C@frink.w3.org>

Michael Cooper says:
[quote]Using some HTML examples, if I have a Flash or SVG
plugin in my document, and I use the accessibility
features of those technologies, do I still need to provide
text alternative content for the <object> element that
loads them?[/quote]

First and foremost, prove to me that Flash works on
anything other than Microsoft platforms.

It does not work on Mac or Linux.  Therefore it is not
accessible and therefore must have a text alternate
version.  Don't confuse yourselves with propaganda.

Lee Roberts

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org
[mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Michael
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2004 2:08 PM
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: RE: Javascript alternatives not necessary?

This is, I think, an oversight in the guidelines, not a
deliberate position.
I agree with Robert's position that if scripts, etc. are
supported and accessible, there is no need for text
alternatives, but think the guidelines need to address
this issue specifically rather than leave it unsaid. 

There is actually a general issue here that applies
clearly to WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 6.3 but also applies to
other issues. For me, the question is, for any non-text
content, if that content type provides accessibility
features, should the guidelines require that a text
alternative also be provided? Using some HTML examples, if
I have a Flash or SVG plugin in my document, and I use the
accessibility features of those technologies, do I still
need to provide text alternative content for the <object>
element that loads them? If I have client side scripts
doing something interesting on the page, but those scripts
are accessible (assuming they're supported) do I have to
provide text alternatives in a <noscript>? I would
interpret that the requirement to provide text alternative
for most images would be triggered by the fact that the
.gif and .jpeg formats don't support embedded
accessibility features - but I would argue that if an
image format did, this question would be equally
applicable to that case.

In considering these questions as applied to the
guidelines, we also have to keep in mind that we're being
technology-independent. So, we shouldn't assume that the
non-text content is a "plugin" to an otherwise textual
document, as would be the case with HTML loading Flash or
something. For instance, an XHTML document could just have
SVG appear in the middle of it with no special <object>
element needed to load it up - and therefore no hooks for
a text alternative besides what is provided by SVG itself.
The issue of differential or unpredicatable assistive
technology for mixed media like this is one we need to
have some kind of statement about but can't make a priori
assumptions about.

The answer I've heard from the group in the past is that
non-text content should have a label associated with it
(under Guideline 1.1) even if we expect it to be supported
and it has accessibility features. I guess it would be up
to Techniques then to describe how to provide that label
in specific cases. But I'm not sure if that is a
future-proofed position, so I think we should consider it
some more. And even if that is the group's position, I
don't think the Guidelines are clear enough about that, so
we need to say something more.

I support going in the direction Robert saw us going, but
I raise these issues to make sure we've thought the whole
thing through.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Fentress, Robert [mailto:rfentres@vt.edu]
> Sent: Monday, July 19, 2004 11:05 AM
> To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
> Subject: Javascript alternatives not necessary?
> I just noticed there is no 2.0 equivalent to the WCAG
1.0 guideline:
> 6.3 Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets,
or other 
> programmatic objects are turned off or not supported.
> If this is not possible, provide equivalent information
on an 
> alternative accessible page. [Priority 1]
> Is this intentional?  If so, it is wonderful.  6.3
always struck me as 
> quite unreasonable in that it made conforming to other
standards such 
> as SCORM, which uses javascript as part of its
> impossible.  The important thing is that the scripts are
> accessible, particularly by allowing keyboard access to
all the 
> functionality, not that all functionality be available
when javascript 
> is not supported.  That makes many kinds of web
> impractical.
> Sorry if this is ground that has already been covered,
but I am new to 
> the list and wanted to make sure I am understanding the
> correctly.
> Rob
Received on Tuesday, 20 July 2004 15:36:24 UTC

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