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Re: "directly accessible" is ?

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2001 09:15:28 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF5C042A15.4456E306-ON86256AFB.004FBCD2@raleigh.ibm.com >
>> I need to clarify what the exact meaning is for checkpoint 8.1 "Make
>> programmatic elements such as scripts and applets directly accessible
>> or compatible with assistive technologies [Priority 1 if
>> functionality is important and not presented elsewhere, otherwise
>> Priority 2.]"
>
>David Woolley wrote:
>
>I think that directly accessible means that there is a route to the
>functions that works without scripting/applets.  The "compatible"
>clause seems to weaken this by allowing these features if some
>assistive technology tools can cope ...

Just the opposite!  "Directly accessible" means you don't need an
alternative route - that the scripting and/or applets are directly
accessible to the assistive technologies being used.  In other words,  the
scripts and/or applets are operable with a keyboard or a mouse, the
information and controls are spoken by a screen reader, colors are not used
alone to convey information, etc.

We need to be able to distinguish between making "non-html content" [as I
call it] directly accessible and the "equivalent alternative" in html.  I
believe people have been reading WCAG 1.1 [Text alternatives] and not
considering WCAG 8.1 [Make programmatic elements ...  directly accessible]

1.1 is under Guideline 1, which reads: Provide equivalent alternatives to
auditory and visual content.
8.1 is under Guideline 8, which reads: Ensure direct accessibility of
embedded user interfaces.

Scripting can affect the "content" but is triggered by events, including
the "user interfaces".  Web developers use these events, on load, on key,
on mouse, on submit, etc. to trigger the execution of the scripting logic
which may or may not change the content.  The content if in auditory or
image form needs a text equivalent, while the events need to be able to be
triggered in a device independent manner, for example by not requiring only
the mouse.  When both occur - it is directly accessible without requiring
an alternative to the script or applet.  We want assistive technologies to
cope.  People who have disabilities don't want to be subjected to used the
back door.  Turning the script or applets off is a test for back door
alternatives, testing with scripting  and applets on with assistive
technologies is testing for direct accessibility.

Phill
Received on Monday, 5 November 2001 10:16:48 GMT

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