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RE: date pickers

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2011 17:38:12 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1309739892.67696.YahooMailClassic@web111713.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>
To: 'WCAG' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
I also often use the edit box because I can tell that July 25 is a Monday if July 4 is a Monday. And I am sure you  can too and you often use the edit box I bet. But you still can use the date picker if you choose too. It is there for a reason. Sighted users can use the edit box so why have the picker?
So if it is there it should be accessible because it helps a use-case. And if it can be made accessible with standard HTML than one should not be allowed to  advance the argument that he is using some framework or esoteric technology that does not let him make it accessible.
So I am not looking at personal preferences or 'loss of a little convenience' as some users write on the webaim.org site. Irrelevant here.
Does it comply with SC 1.1.1, 1.3.1, 1.4.3, 2.1.1, 3.3.2and others that apply? And does it work with AT? The Webaim thread does not discuss this.
  Can the AT user do a little workaround / compromise to get through the page? Sure. I do it all the time on banking / travel / mutual fund / e-retail sites and complete the task at hand. Then does it mean those pages comply with WCAG 2? Not at all. 
 And people have the temerity to ask why should the picker be accessible  if the edit box is.
People use tables  and mark up row/ col headers but insert empty rows / columns for spacing in the calendar table. Or the table has a few rows at the top that have nothing to do with the data table but contain navigational elements. So does it expose structure correctly? Even with TH for col/row headers it fails SC 1.3.1 miserably. Is it a data table or a layout table? Again, sure I can spend some time with my screen reader and figure it out. But is that what accessibility guidelines are written for? 
Sailesh Panchang

--- On Sun, 7/3/11, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca> wrote:

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Subject: RE: date pickers
To: "'Sailesh Panchang'" <spanchang02@yahoo.com>, "'WCAG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Date: Sunday, July 3, 2011, 6:54 PM

I love your passion...

That argument can be made, that there are certain aspects of a date picker that are not in a drop down or text entry... There is an interesting thread here including several screen reader users:

>From that thread, there's reference to an "out of the box" one...
It's OK, but not visually comparable to the commercial ones out there... I haven't done extensive testing...

Sailesh, would it be ok it you pointed me to a successful implementation of one of these recommendations.

David MacDonald

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Sailesh Panchang
Sent: July-03-11 6:03 PM
To: 'WCAG'
Subject: Re: date pickers

Hi David,
It is me again!
A date entry edit box is not an adequate alternative for a date picker table. I might want to travel on a Thursday or maybe the last Wednesday of next month and should be able to run down the column for the day and determine the date like everyone else.
Sighted keyboard users too might want to do the same.  Want to exclude all these users from picking a date?
- The date picker icon should be accessible 
- The table should be accessible (only cells that contain day of week) should have TH as it is a simple table. Also ensure first row of table does not contain non-data table content like month selector elements etc. (Scope is not supported by all AT so I recommend use of scope only when absolutely necessary). 
- The month selector (next/prev) and 
- The actual dates. The date should be a link if it is selectable or just text if not. Activating the date link should populate the edit box. 
Out of the box pickers seldom meet these specs I suggest to the many sites I review.
All this is attainable using standard HTML.
Trust this helps.
Sailesh Panchang
Centreville VA 
Tel 571-344-1765

--- On Sun, 7/3/11, David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca> wrote:

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Subject: date pickers
To: "'WCAG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Date: Sunday, July 3, 2011, 5:13 PM

I'd like some opinions ... I�m evaluating a lot of sites these days with date pickers... I�ve been making all the customary recommendations, using headers/id�s or scope and <th> etc....
But I�m actually starting to rethink this... technically if there is another way to pick the date such as direct entry MM/DD/YYYY or drop down combo box, there is a good argument that a popup date picker does not have to be compliant, since there is an alternative way to achieve the result
I've seen attempts to make accessible date pickers, mostly created by visual folks, in the experimental space.
But I've never seen a successful date picker that has caught on... I don�t know, it's such a visual kind of thing, looking at a calendar table... so far, I've yet to hear about any popup date picker that blind folks like, or that is more useful than just entering the date directly or using combo boxes...
What do you think? Do you think I should be fighting to get sites to accessify their pop up date pickers, in addition to either drop down combo boxes or entering dates directly MM/DD/YYYY? If so, does anyone know of an out of the box accessible one that I can recommend...?
David MacDonald
Received on Monday, 4 July 2011 00:38:40 UTC

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