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Re: JavaScript and Screen Readers

From: Isofarro <lists@isofarro.uklinux.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2008 19:33:46 +0100
Message-ID: <48A9C08A.2020900@isofarro.uklinux.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Ryan Jean wrote:
> Due to my recent issues with JavaScript and screen readers, such as 
> JAWS, I contacted Freedom Scientific about what they can do about
> making their software more web accessible.

JAWS deals with JavaScript fine for the most part. The difficulties
arise when portions of the page are updates, this creates two problems:
1.) JAWS being aware that something on the page has changed
2.) The user being aware and find the part of the page that has changed.

> I think a certain function in JS is wonderful (“document.write()”) as
> it enables the screen to be re-written without opening a new window
> or having to duplicate the webpage.

I think you've made a mistake somewhere in the above sentence. 
document.write() is only of use running inline when the page is 
currently loading in a browser. It is of no help whatsoever when it is 
called after the page has fully loaded - in that case the entire 
document is cleared, and a new document has started.

If that - the document being completely cleared, and a new document 
started - is the behaviour you want, then you don't need document.write 
for that, you can use a plain link and like to a different page. That 
will be less brittle, and a far better long-term solution.

If you use document.write() after the page has loaded, you will need to 
duplicate the content of a webpage if the user needs to peruse it.

 > The only thing is to make it
> readable by screen readers. Freedom Scientific wrote me back saying
> they are gathering information on the subject and talking to their
> senior tech specialist. I’m also going to contact Java on the matter.

This has nothing to do with Java. If you feel you need to contact the 
organisation responsible/taking care for JavaScript, then you need to 
contact ECMA, but I doubt you will find the answer there. Perhaps a 
better place will be Mozilla's accessibility mailing list, since Mozilla 
is the direct descendent of Netscape Corporation which originally 
created the JavaScript language. Aaron Lowenthal is probably the best 
placed person to talk to about accessible JavaScript.
Received on Monday, 18 August 2008 18:34:42 UTC

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