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Re: is javascript considered good wacg 2.0 practice?

From: Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2012 15:09:31 +0100
Message-ID: <50C9E19B.6000909@ramoncorominas.com>
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
CC: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi, Andrew and all.

Although I basically agree with you in terms of the "accessibility 
support" in the case of JavaScript, I am not sure that we can simply say 
"I'm relying on this technology, so if there is not full support it is 
not my problem".

Indeed, for certain technologies it is clear that there is a lack of 
accessibility support that would affect disabled users differently than 
non-disabled users. For example, although PDF documents can be made 
"accessible", for now they are only accessibility supported on Windows 
using Adobe Reader (and I think only fully supported with JAWS). For Mac 
or Linux users, PDF will NOT be accessible even if the document is 
properly tagged, etc. Therefore, web owners cannot simply say "we rely 
on Adobe PDF, so if you are using another OS is not our problem".

Of course, in the case of PDF none of the conditions of the 
"accessibility support" are met, so we cannot claim "accessibility 
support" unless the documents are used in a closed environment. 
Nevertheless, with other technologies it seems sometimes that we simply 
consider that forcing the users to change their normal tools is fair, 
Apparently, users are guilty for not using "the right tool".

That said, I agree that we must be realistic, too. We cannot pretend 
that developers test every combination of OS, browser and AT, but there 
should also be a limit to the "it's your fault by not using the 
appropriate tool" excuse.

Regards,
Ramón.

Andrew wrote:

> The way I answer this question for developers is that JavaScript is permissible under WCAG 2.0, but like any other technology it needs to correctly expose information about accessibility of the content and meet other WCAG 2.0 success criteria .
> 
> The fact that there are people who disable JavaScript and clients available which restrict JavaScript is not a factor, for the reasons Steve Faulkner stated - users have a choice of browsers and other tools to use, and this issue doesn't uniquely affect users with disabilities. There is no such thing as "technology baseline" in WCAG 2.0 but within the conformance claim required components is a need to identify the components that the site "relies on" (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG/#reliedupondef).  It is perfectly legitimate to indicate that a site relies on JavaScript, ARIA, and other technologies which are supported differently in different tools. 
> 
> I fully agree that progressive enhancement is the best approach, but it may not always be possible to provide the same functionality with and without JS.  
> 
> Thanks,
> AWK
> 
> Andrew Kirkpatrick
> Group Product Manager, Accessibility
> Adobe Systems 
Received on Thursday, 13 December 2012 14:12:37 GMT

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