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RE: These are accessible? I'm not sure they are

From: Simon White <simon.white@jkd.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 16:20:08 -0000
Message-ID: <FDFC0668A850D246BC4231715D94904E0CD399@uranus.jkd.co.uk>
To: "Tom James" <tom.james@digitext.com>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Wow, what a response. Thank you everyone for your initial comments. I am in the process of bringing this to the attention of those in power to make sure that companies who build these sites know what they are doing. This brings me back to my comments a while ago about accreditation and making sure that companies hire agencies who have knowledge of accessible web design and how to implement the guidelines correctly.

I really appreciate everyone's help and am always willing to help anyone in a similar position (it was just this time that I wanted to be sure that I was correct before I began to tell the UK government that these sites are not accessible. There is only one thing worse than being wrong, and that is being wrong but assuming one is right!)

Kind regards to all

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom James [mailto:tom.james@digitext.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 16:13
To: Simon White
Cc: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'
Subject: RE: These are accessible? I'm not sure they are

I'd very much doubt they are accessible ... browsing with scripts disabled
(as I tend to do) results in a blank page, at least for
http://www.resource.gov.uk/. (Tried in IE6 and Opera 6 / Win98).

I checked the source code and there are <noscript> and <noframe> elements. I
suspect the designer feels they have met their responsibilities, without
actually testing it. (The W3C validator shows a colossal number of errors,
despite the document claiming to be HTML 4.0 Transitional). As it is, they
have gone around adding these elements in a somewhat illogical fashion:

In pseudo code, the page reads:

[ some meta data ]
[ a script that writes out a frameset ]

<html> - again!
[ The meta data - again...]
[ a script to redirect you to a different page ]
[ some page content ]
</html> - for the first time

<html> - For the third time in the document!
[ the meta data - once more ... ]
[ a conventional frameset ]

So it is sort of three documents in one...

But if you look at the logic, as far as I can see, you get the following:

Suppose your browser does scripts and frames:

You see the content, I assume as the designer intended.

Frames but not scripts
(for example, the 13% of people who disable scripts even though the browser
is capable of running scripts)

My experience is you see nothing. You should go into the <noscript> element.
However, because there is an </html> tag further up the document, IE 6 and
Opera 6 (at least) seem to stop processing the document. So you get nothing.

Scripts but no frames

(Are there any browsers like this?)

Assuming there are, you would jump to the <noscript> element - where you
find a frameset. Oh well ...

No scripts, no frames

I tried this in Amaya. It had a list of five frames (with names but no
titles) (and three of which are blank) and some text telling me to
<link>Click here</link> to some other page. Sadly, this page was blue with
blue links, so was a little difficult to read!

Certainly an accessibility problem for users of assistive technologies. But
I wonder if the designer even considered the fact that a large percentage of
people use modern GUI browsers, but turn off scripts, disabling the site.

So a thumbs down, I think.


Dr Tom James 
Senior Consultant 
Digitext - Online Information at Work 

Telephone: +44 (0)1844 214690 
Fax: +44 (0)1844 213434 
Email: tom.james@digitext.com 
Web: http://www.digitext.com/ 

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-----Original Message-----
From: Simon White [mailto:simon.white@jkd.co.uk]
Sent: 21 March 2002 15:21
To: WAI List (E-mail)
Subject: These are accessible? I'm not sure they are

Dear All,
I have just read a press release from an agency that has built a site that
is supposed to be accessible to the most current W3C standards for visually
impaired people. Well, I have taken a look and cannot make haed nor tail of
it through my Lynx browser and got most confused. As I don't rely on this
all the time, I was wondering if someone else could tell me that either I am
being stupid or that I am right and this website is not as accessible as it

The URLs are:

I am not looking for an in-depth report as I could run that myself. Just
interested in opinions on the site as it appears to you guys that use
Assistive Tech, etc.

Much obliged and kind regards to all
Simon White
James Kelsey Design (JKD)
Westminster Business Square
1-45 Durham Street
SE11 5JH
Tel:  020 7793 9399
Fax: 020 7793 9299
Web: www.jkd.co.uk

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Received on Thursday, 21 March 2002 11:20:08 UTC

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