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Re: is javascript considered good wacg 2.0 practice?

From: Harry Loots <harry.loots@ieee.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:20:11 +0100
Message-ID: <CA++-QFfnZijO6L6eAdU=UWgMDd1pSdT5rwOJa4uyHEzhgtg7Cw@mail.gmail.com>
To: John Foliot <john@foliot.ca>
Cc: W3C WAI ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, Karen Lewellen <klewellen@shellworld.net>, David Woolley <forums@david-woolley.me.uk>, Steve Green <steve.green@testpartners.co.uk>
On 14 December 2012 04:32, John Foliot <john@foliot.ca> wrote:

> I don't rue the emergence of ARIA as a permanent part of the developer
> tool-chain, I embrace it.

Hallo John
I completely support your enthusiasm for ARIA. At last we are able to
provide an accessible interface where the browser's native capability

However: It should never become the de facto means by which we achieve
accessibility. It should only ever be used as a bridging technology -- a
framework used to improve accessibility (as originally intended by WAI),
and UA vendors should never be allowed to abdicate their responsibility in
this regard to ARIA.

With respect to my point about
> If however, this is a public website, where everyone has the right
> of access and can expect to be treated equally, then if a user uses
> a browser or AT that does not support JavaScript, and is thereby denied
> access to the functionality offered via the scripting, then the site is
> not accessible. Ergo, the site is non-compliant.

and your disagreement in this respect:

> I respect your right to an opinion here, but I also respectfully disagree,
> and I think you would have a very hard time defending that opinion in a
> court of law (which sort of feels what this whole thread is leading
> towards).

I'm not convinced that this would be an indefensible position, nor am I
convinced that it is up to the user to provide adequate tools.

Awarding to MacGuire v SOCOG (2000), the Commissioner stated the following:

*I am comfortably satisfied that his [the plaintiff] limited access to the
web site caused him considerable feelings of hurt, humiliation and
rejection. One cannot overstate the consequential effect upon him of his
having to cope with the persistent need to counter what he saw as a
negative, unhelpful and dismissive attitude on the part of an organization
charged with the presentation of the most notable sporting event in the
history of this country.*

*(William Carter QC, Inquiry Commissioner - Human Rights & Equal
Opportunities Commission4<http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/socog-case-study#four>
) *

>From the WAI website (http://www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/socog-case-study):

*The HREOC's ruling set a precedent that creating a website intended for
use by and to inform the general public, where such a website is more
accessible to a sighted user than the same intent and information is not
available for a user who is blind by virtue of disability. They are
therefore being discriminated against by lack of provision, and the creator
of the website is in breach of the Cth DDA.*

Two key phrases stand out in this:
1) 'limited access' - the user had limited access and;
2) 'lack of provision' - the provider did not adequately provide.

If we adopted the viewpoint that it is up to the user to provide the
necessary means to access the service then we may as well extend this to
public buildings and tell wheelchair users that they have to bring their
own stair lifts if they want to use facilities located at the top of the

Nobody is forcing you to go to that site, and nobody is forcing you to use

tools that are not up to the task. If you voluntarily choose to use tools
> that cannot perform a specific function, then it is you, not the owner of
> the function, who has made a choice that has a directly negative impact on
> the outcome.

I agree, no-one is forcing you; but equally, I would not want to be denied
access due to lack of tools; and this may not be voluntarily; which
suggests refusal to use alternatives. But what if I was, due to personal
circumstances,  unable to install free software? Asking a sighted neighbour
to come and install software that will enable me to access this service is
demeaning to me and makes me reliant on others, whereas what I as a user
with special needs want is independence and self-reliance.

Kind regards, Harry
Received on Friday, 14 December 2012 13:20:57 UTC

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