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RE: WCAG 1 and AJAX Re: Can AJAX find harmony...

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 11:36:05 -0400
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <E1G3aYy-00005k-Fn@lisa.w3.org>

>I don't believe that "accessibility is impossible for Web sites that use
>real AJAX". I don't even believe that WCAG 1.0 conformance is impossible.  
Well are there any specific techniques  to demonstrate your belief? Please
can you direct me to these?
Markup languages allow one  to use an alt attribute to make an image
accessible or explicitly associate a label to make a form control
accessible. But are there  similar techniques available in the markup and
scripting languages in use today to make AJAX and DHTML applications
accessible? Finally more than a theoretical discussion, what matters is, do
they work with today's user agents and assistive technologies?  I think even
workarounds and hacks cannot be completely effective because:
"Unfortunately, HTML and other markup does not provide adequate markup to
support accessible dynamic content....
HTML, when combined with script and CSS may be repurposed to create dynamic
custom components without the ability for the author to convey this
information to the native accessibility architectures designed to support
dynamic GUI content....
JavaScript also make extensive use of tag elements such as DIVs where they
will dynamically apply a UI through the use of style sheets and dynamic
content changes. An HTML DIV provides no semantic information. The page
author may define a DIV as the start of a pop-up menu or even
an ordered list. No HTML facility provides a mechanism for the page author
cannot convey the role of the DIV as being a pop-up menu. Consequently, a
page author cannot tell an assistive technology when these elements have
focus. There is no mechanism to convey accessibility property information as
to whether the pop-up menu is collapsed or expanded. There is also no
mechanism to define what the actions are that can be formed on the element
other than through a device-dependent means through the event handler type
(onmouseover, onclick, etc.)" [1]
1. http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/roadmap/DHTMLRoadmap040506.html
2. http://www.webaim.org/techniques/ajax/
Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer
Deque Systems Inc. (www.deque.com)
11180 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite #400,
Reston VA 20191
Phone: 703-225-0380 (ext 105)
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
Received on Thursday, 20 July 2006 15:35:54 UTC

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