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Re: QUESTION: use of javascript to comply with Sect 508

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 13:39:05 -0500 (EST)
To: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
cc: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0101061317240.6421-100000@tux.w3.org>
Yes, Lynx does need to support Javascript and a couple of other things before
it allows people to access a better more accessible web that we could have.
Or people need to use a different system. Unfortunately, IBM doesn't appear
to have provided a version of Home Page Reader for MacOS or Linux, the two
operating systems I use every day. And won't run on the Windows system I ahve
available to me - a Windows 95 computer. Although I am pleased to note that
it will be available in some languages other than english in just under three

There is an open issue in the WCAG guidelines group about how we work out
what support it is reasonable to require of users. Lynx is a pertinent
example, since it is free, is available for almost any system in use, and is
known to work with almost any assistive technology. (This was, if I recall,
the specific reason for reducing the priority of several WCAG checkpoints in
version 1.0 - users could always install Lynx, and that would give them
access to, for example, linearised tables.)

It is important to recognise there are limits to what people can afford to
do. It is equally important to recognise that individuals do have some
responsibility for helping themselves. In Australian law, a company that
won't provide a piece of software that is widely available and used would
need a pretty good reason for it if the alternative was to discriminate
against someone with a disability. But it is a tough argument that a small
business with a turnover of several thousand dollars a year (in some
countries that isn't such a small business) ought to spend more than a
thousand dollars a year on upgrading systems to enable a person with a
disability to keep their job.

Someone has to carry the burden. Our job is to determine how the burdens can
be reduced. To do that well we need up to date information on what the real
problems are and what the real solutions are (and they do change with

enough philosophical rant...


Charles McCN

On Fri, 5 Jan 2001, Phill Jenkins wrote:

  David wrote:
  > what happens here though when you use something like lynx or ibm home
  > page reader or pwwebspeak?
  > In lynx for instance, java[script] is ignored and if there is no other
  > way to access or manipulate the content, we fail to access.

  IBM Home Page Reader version 3.0 now supports JavaScript very nicely.

  Perhaps lynx and others need to add support for JavaScript since it can be
  accessible.  All the burden can't be placed on the web designers and

  Phill Jenkins
  IBM Research Division - Accessibility Center

Charles McCathieNevile    mailto:charles@w3.org    phone: +61 (0) 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative                      http://www.w3.org/WAI
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
until 6 January 2001 at:
W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
Received on Saturday, 6 January 2001 13:40:08 UTC

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