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RE: date pickers

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2011 09:00:07 -0400
Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP898C7AF9FB584E3096FCCDFE5F0@phx.gbl>
To: "'adam solomon'" <adam.solomon2@gmail.com>, "'Bailey, Bruce'" <Bailey@access-board.gov>
CC: "'Sailesh Panchang'" <spanchang02@yahoo.com>, "'WCAG'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "'508'" <508@access-board.gov>
I've been looking at the definition for a conforming alternative. Applying
the date picker situation to it is another one of those murky things, but I
think it's worth exploring:

1.     conforms at the designated level, and

2.     provides all of the same information and
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#functiondef> functionality
in the same  <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#human-langdef>
human language, and

3.     is as up to date as the non-conforming content, and 

4.     for which at least one of the following is true:

1.     the conforming version can be reached from the non-conforming page
via an
<http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#mechanismdef> mechanism, or

2.     the non-conforming version can only be reached from the conforming
version, or

3.     the non-conforming version can only be reached from a conforming page
that also provides a mechanism to reach the conforming version

The text field "alternative" to a date picker meets all of those criteria,
except perhaps an argument can be made against #2 (all same information and
functionality).  However, looking up our definition for functionality gives

" <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#processdef> processes and
outcomes achievable through user action"


I think the operative word is "outcome". The outcome is to book a ticket (or
whatever else), and the text box allows that. 


Perhaps it would be great to get an accessible date picker widget, but as
Jim points out... so far they are all disappointments... Sailesh points out
it can be done using regular html markup... but so far they are all clunky,
and I've yet to meet a Screen Reader user who as ever found a date picker
they like or would use. Most don't think it's an enough of an issue to lobby
for... they'd rather type in the date, than to go into tables mode, and surf
through a bunch of greyed out previous dates in the current month... 


On the other hand if web sites stop using popup date pickers then people
with cognitive disabilities might be disadvantaged... since the visual date
picker is easier to use for a sighted person who has a cognitive


David MacDonald

 <http://www.eramp.com> www.eramp.com 



From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On Behalf
Of adam solomon
Sent: July-05-11 8:26 AM
To: Bailey, Bruce
Cc: Sailesh Panchang; WCAG; David MacDonald; 508
Subject: Re: date pickers


I was going to weigh in against Sailesh on this one (in fact I was the one
who posted the original question in the WebAim list), yet he then brought up
an important point - even if we assume the textbox option is easier, it is
still missing information about what day of the week a particular date falls
on. So, even though we have an alternative to inputting the date, we don't
have an alternative to the content which is provided by the datepicker as to
days of the week. The question I have is - where do we draw the line. Can we
consider such content to be secondary, or do we require all content to have
an alternative to be wcag conformant. This question really applies to many
situations. Is there any leeway as to not providing alternatives to
secondary, perhaps less important content.
What say you all?

On Tue, Jul 5, 2011 at 2:40 PM, Bailey, Bruce <
<mailto:Bailey@access-board.gov> Bailey@access-board.gov> wrote:

Very interesting discussion Sailesh and David.  Thanks too for the links to
the web aim discussion and Aria example.  I have to confess that my favorite
comment was "Often the accessible date-pickers are more work than just
typing it in and is something you should consider."


This comes up in the Federal sphere with 508 and the on-going consensus at
this point is that a properly labeled text box option is a sufficient
alternative to a pop-up date picker.  That is not the same judgment call
that would be made for a calendar program (where, as Sailesh describes,
knowing the day of the week, adjacent appointments, and full keyboard
navigation would all be essential).


Bruce Bailey
Accessibility IT Specialist
U.S. Access Board
1331 F Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC  20004-1111
202-272-0024 (voice)
202-272-0082 (TTY, shared)
202-272-0081 (Fax, shared)
 <mailto:bailey@access-board.gov> bailey@access-board.gov


Thank you for your questions concerning section 508 of the Rehabilitation
Act Amendments of 1998.  Section 508 authorizes the Access Board to provide
technical assistance to individuals and Federal departments and agencies
concerning the requirements of this section.  This technical assistance is
intended solely as informal guidance and is not a determination of the legal
rights or responsibilities of entities subject to section 508.

Received on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 13:00:51 UTC

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