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Re: QUESTION: use of javascript to comply with Sect 508

From: Beth Skwarecki <skwareea@screech.cs.alfred.edu>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2001 11:55:47 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <20010104115547.C4674@cs.alfred.edu>
Not to start another flamewar or anything, but here's the unofficial
explanation from the FAQ:

"The 1986 version of Section 508 established non-binding guidelines for
technology accessibility, while the 1998 version creates binding,
enforceable standards and will incorporate these standards into Federal
procurement regulations. Federal agencies will use these standards in all
their electronic and information technology acquisitions. Consistent
government-wide standards will make it easier for Federal agencies to meet
their existing obligations to make their technology systems accessible to
people with disabilities, and will promote competition in the technology
industry by clarifying the Federal market's requirement for accessibility in
products intended for general use. The new version of Section 508 also
establishes a complaint procedure and reporting requirements, which further
strengthen the law."

Note the bit about "binding, enforceable standards". If it's a law that
people will be held to, you can bet that they're going to try to weasel out
of it. Just wondering about loopholes here, and hopefully the actual
language includes appropriate definitions. 

--beth

On Thu, Jan 04, 2001 at 11:44:30AM -0500, Al Gilman wrote:
> 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 create
> >> 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?! 
> >
> 
> AG::
> 
> Just as it is easy to read 'identified' in a way that is too loose, it is easy
> to read 'equivalent' in a way that is too tight.  We have had lots of problems
> with people not grasping the optional [rough] implied where we talk about
> equivalents.  What is really intended in either case (WCAG or 508) is
> something
> in the middle where the stretch to describe it either way is just a little
> stretch.

-- 
http://playground.alfred.edu/~bethnewt/
Received on Thursday, 4 January 2001 11:55:52 GMT

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