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Re: Remote Scripting -- Compliant with 508 and WCAG?

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2003 10:55:12 -0600
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFD3D48785.2B55069C-ON86256DF3.00596F79-86256DF3.005D14A4@us.ibm.com>

>Would it be possible to use Remote Scripting and still retain
>compliance? Can assistive technologies handle it?

Yes, and many assistive technologies handle client-side scripting (e.g.,
IBM Home Page Reader, JAWs, magnifiers, etc.).  One of the few that I know
of that doesn't is the LYNX browser.  If you call that an assistive
technology, I call it a non scripting capable browser.  In my mind,
scripting is not a disability issue per se, its what authors do with it
that may or may not cause problems.  Just like HTML or GUI programs, both
can and cannot be made accessible, it depends on what the author does.

Others claim that if scripting doesn't work with their configuration, then
it isn't accessible to them.  True, but then they are mixing the disability
issue with the user's configuration,  affordability, or security preference
and not really addressing the capability of a user with a disability and a
supported browser and assistive technology - which is what many refer to as
"technical accessibility".  If all the employees in the State, Bureau, etc.
have access to a capable browser & assistive technology, then the client
side scripting can (and should) be made directly accessible to them.

WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 8.1 [see note 1] requires the direct accessibility of
scripting results, which is viewed by many to be equivalent to the Section
508 Web part paragraph L [see note 2].  The Access Board gives 508 guidance
on making scripts directly accessible [see note 3] and others such as IBM's
Web Accessibility techniques [see note 4].

Interesting to see that many see a conflict, or at least an oddity between
WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 6.3 and 8.1.  In other words, why does one need to meet
8.1 if the site already works without scripting by meeting 6.3?

Note 1 WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 8.1 Directly accessible scripting


Note 2 Section 508 Sub-part B Technical Standards 1194.23 Paragraph L
      http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/508standards.htm#PART 1194

Note 3 Access Board technical guidance on scripting

Note 4 IBM Web Accessibility Scripting Techniques

Phill Jenkins,  IBM Accessibility Services
Received on Friday, 5 December 2003 12:04:07 UTC

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