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

From: Jim Thatcher <thatch@attglobal.net>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 09:55:24 -0600
To: "Fitzgerald, Jimmie" <Jimmie.Fitzgerald@jbosc.ksc.nasa.gov>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <NDBBKJDAKKEJDCICIODLIEDBCNAA.thatch@attglobal.net>
I too have been trying [1] to find examples of inaccessible JavaScript - I
would like to know about things JavaScript writers should NOT do.

The author of the JavaScript menus on www.NSF.gov has told me he considers
those to be inaccessible. Indeed they appear as non-links for HPR and for
JFW. But because there is equivalent facilitation, including a text only
site, this is not an accessibility issue; in fact the site works fine with
JavaScript turned off or inadequate as in Netscape 4.x (they want their site
to meet WCAG 6.3).

What we need is a catalog of JavaScript techniques that are NOT accessible
(or yield inaccessible sites) as well as those that are. These would be more
like programming strategies than the techniques we usually talk about for
static HTML.

I proposed one in [1], "don't use onChange in select menus,"  but since then
Doug Wakefield pointed out to me that if you use keyboard access
'correctly,' starting with Alt+Down Arrow, in a select menu (combo box) then
onChange is not a problem!

Here is another proposal.

** JavaScript menus do not meet the accessibility criteria of Section 508.
Even if the links are available to (some) assistive technology (as at
www.microsoft.com) the structure of the menus is lost. If you use JavaScript
dropdown menus to facilitate navigation, be sure that the corresponding
links are immediately available to those who cannot access those menus, like
in the navigation panel of the target of the each main menu item.

You see, this is a modified WCAG idea; I want it to say that as far as the
JavaScript menus are concerned, your site has to work well with JavaScript
turned off. It does not say that your whole site has to work with JavaScript
turned off.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2001JanMar/0051.html


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

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Fitzgerald, Jimmie
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2001 8:33 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Section 508 Question on Javascript - Section 1194.22,
Paragraph (l)


As I've said before, we are more concerned here with 508 than we are with
WAI from the W3C.  With that in mind...

Does anyone have a page/site/snippet of code demonstrating JavaScript or
VBScript for accessibility?

I'd like to see a page with DHTML writing some dynamically created content
with a script and an explanation of how and why that isn't accessible.  I'd
then like to see the same page made accessible without sacrificing the DHTML
portion of it.  If that can be done.

I've seen lots of talk about this and the 508 is not clear on it at all but
I've not seen anyone post url's to examples or anything like that.  Maybe I
just missed it?

I am all for accessibility but unless I can see some hard evidence related
to script issues such as the one I am asking for here, I'll be inclined to
continue scripting my little heart out.  I suppose I am failing to get the
point on why Lynx or Script-less browsers are considered in the arena of the
ADA.  American Disabilies Act right?  Not BDA (Browser Disability Act).
Sorry if I sound a little insensitive here, not trying to be.  Just confused
on all this talk about browsers.  Aren't we trying and really only trying to
make sites accessible to *people* with disabilities?  Thought I had a clue
about all this last week and this week, I am feeling pretty stupid about it
all.



Jim Fitzgerald

-----Original Message-----
From: Gregg Vanderheiden [mailto:gv@trace.wisc.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, February 14, 2001 9:00 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Section 508 Question on Javascript - Section 1194.22,
Paragraph (l)


Hi Graham
Here is the answer from Doug Wakefield at the Access Board  who put the
regulations together
With his permission I am reposting here  and on the SEC508 list


Gregg



Hello Gregg,

In response to the question on the list concerning functional text in
scripts:

When a script has no associated text or label, the screen reader often reads
some content of the script itself in a jumble of letters and words. We have
chosen not to forbid the use of scripts, by rather to require that script
functions provide text that will accurately tell a user the purpose of the
script or action.

Although there are some event handlers in JavaScript's that can pose some
tricky access problems, the bigger problem is the manner in which scripts
write to the screen.

Doug Wakefield


-- ------------------------------
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Human Factors
Depts of Ind. and Biomed. Engr. - U of Wis.
Director - Trace R & D Center
Gv@trace.wisc.edu, http://trace.wisc.edu/
FAX 608/262-8848
For a list of our listserves send "lists" to listproc@trace.wisc.edu


 -----Original Message-----
From: 	w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]  On
Behalf Of Graham Oliver
Sent:	Monday, February 12, 2001 2:56 PM
To:	w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject:	Section 508 Question on Javascript - Section 1194.22,
Paragraph (l)

Hi
I have tried to get to some sort of understanding of
this on the Section 508 list at Trace, but am still in
the land of confusion!

The thread starts here
http://trace.wisc.edu:8080/guest/archives/SEC508/sec508.0102/msg00000.html

I have been asked to write an article on accessibility
which covers Section 508 so would like to give a
reasonable interpretation of this regulation.

Anyone care to have a go?

Cheers
Graham Oliver

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Received on Wednesday, 14 February 2001 12:03:48 GMT

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