RE: Section 508 Question on Javascript - Section 1194.22, Parag raph (l)

At 02:07 PM 2/12/2001 , Reidy Brown wrote:
>I talked to Doug Wakefield at the Access Board about this issue a couple of
>weeks ago. Here's my (possibly faulty) translation of his intent in writing
>this paragraph:
>The assumption is that the user will have a reasonably current
>browser/assistive technology combination, such as IE 5 and Jaws for Windows
>3.7, specifically, one that supports javascript. [This is the biggest
>philosophical difference between 508 and WAI.] 

Yeah, that's a pretty big assumption (and honestly, a very bizarre
requirement).  Isn't this the federal government that just sued
Microsoft for being a monopoly, and now they're demanding the use
of IE?

>In this case, you're assuming that behind-the-scenes Javascript (such as
>validation) will work properly. If so, you need only to make sure that
>"visual" content is available to all users. For example, a form that
>validates for an email address could pop up an alert box saying "Please
>enter an email address." Jaws 3.7 can read alert boxes, so this is

Wow.  If this really -is- the case then it's obvious that someone
at the access board has their head in an inaccessible location.

>One piece that is oddly missing here is a requirement that all
>content/functionality be keyboard accessible. (For instance, no onClick
>events used without a non-js fall-through.) The closest idea is in (n), but
>it only includes coding for forms:
>(n) When electronic forms are designed to be completed on-line, the form
>shall allow people using assistive technology to access the information,
>field elements, and functionality required for completion and submission of
>the form, including all directions and cues. 

Actually there's a lot of holes in Section 508 requirements, and
while this is an important one, it's far from the only one that's
missing. :)

Thanks for the information, Reidy!


Kynn Bartlett <>
Technical Developer Liaison
Customer Management/Team Edapta
Reef North America
Tel +1 909-674-5225

Received on Monday, 12 February 2001 17:26:06 UTC