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some quick forms pointers, perhaps

From: Jennifer Sutton <jensutton@earthlink.net>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2001 17:17:27 -0500
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.2.20010316171325.00a16070@pop3.norton.antivirus>
To: "greg holden"<HOLDENG@bah.com>
Cc: crocket@clemson.edu, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
	As if you don't have enough email from me today, here's some info about 
forms, proper Web Accessibility Initiative checkpoints, and such.  It *may* 
help, though your forms were more complex.  I know you're not redoing those 
FDA ones; I'm just thinking this may help point you in the right directions 
for conceptual understanding.  JFW (or Window-Eyes) certainly *are not* 
limited to Javascript.  In fact the Java Script must be done properly for 
them, juast as HTML must be coded right.

I will read this, too, because I need to learn.

Jennifer

Bill,

The main reason that your HTML form is inaccessible is that many of the
prompts
or questions are associated with their corresponding answer blanks only via
the
graphical over/under alignment in the tabular layout.

This association is obvious by eye and "just not there" by ear.

This is discussed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 from the W3C
in Checkpoints 12.4 and 10.2 (it will be clearer if you read them in that
order
rather than in document order).

  <http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT>http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/

See also the example given in

  HTML Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0
  <http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#forms-grouping>http://www.w3.org/
TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#forms-grouping

[No, that's not a typo, the actual example for labeling form fields appears
ahead of time in the "grouping of form fields" section.  Oh, well...]

The principal thing that you should understand is that your form has to make
sense as Q&A pairs where you set the question and the user sets the answer.
  If
the user has a fill-in blank where they can't figure out what the question is,
they can't use the form.

For maximal compatibility with the widest range of legacy equipment, break out
the form with a question/answer pair per line and the question first.

To keep the look you currently have with access that should work for people
with reasonably current technology, you can keep the tabular structure if you
use <LABEL> correctly throughout.

[...and there are other ways you could do it...]

I do suggest that you first design your repair with the aid of the W3C
guidelines, which were developed to reflect the needs of a wide variety of
consumers, before going on to ask Dave to test it with Jaws.  If all you do is
test it with one assistive setup you may miss the mark of universal access by
accident.  You will need some real-user, real-assistive-technology checkout to
make sure it is working, but you should start from broader guidelines in the
[re-] design step.

Al

 >----- Original Message -----
 >From: "William C. Deas" <deas@mindspring.com>
 >To: <jfw-employment@yahoogroups.com>
 >Sent: Friday, March 16, 2001 1:57 PM
 >Subject: [jfw-employment] forms accessible
 >
 >
 >Any responses I receive will be forwarded to my friend.  Please feel
 >free to
 >corospond with Dave directly.  If the email doesn't have his address
 >contact
 >him at crocket@clemson.edu  Thanks.
 >
 >
 >Hi.
 >
 >I am working with a friend of mine to improve visually-impaired
 >accessibility of WWW pages under my domain and he suggested that I
 >submit this question to you.  He's using JAWS as his reader and a
 >member of this support group.  I am copying to him on this query.
 >
 >My question deals with JAWS' ability to read forms.  He's able to
 >successfully navigate a javascript-based form on another homepage
 >(see
<http://www.wistv.com/Global/Category.asp?c=2470>http://www.wistv.com/Global
/Category.asp?c=2470 for a link to
 >form he can use) but unable to deal with a straight html-based form
 >on my server (see
 ><http://chemistry.clemson.edu/chemdocs/apps/domesticapp.html>http://chemis
try.clemson.edu/chemdocs/apps/domesticapp.html for one
 >of mine).  Is there any special encoding I should be aware of to make
 >MY page readable to him, or is JAWS limited to javascript?
<snip>
Received on Friday, 16 March 2001 17:30:10 GMT

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