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Re: Frames and Accessibility

From: Julian Voelcker <asp@tvw.net>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 13:23:15 GMT
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-Id: <VA.0000061e.02f42b40@tvw.net>

Hi Tina,

Thanks for getting back to me.

> Keeping the nature of the information firmly in mind, is a very good
>   starting point. So why don't ask yourself whether or not the nature of
>   the information you want people to get access to is _really_ separated
>   into two physically different entities ?
>     In the case of the library, is not the navigation really an integral
>    part of the content ? A description of it ?
>     In the case of the chat, you are describing not only using frames, but
>    also client-side technology - ie. a self-refreshing frame - which may
>    not be available. This places you in the situation of actively relying
>    on two different techniques, neither of which is guaranteed to be
>    present.
>     If you really want to reach 'AA', then refreshing done client-side is
>    currently out of the question. With that in mind, why not also remove
>    the frames ?

In both cases we have gone down the relevant route due to usability issues.

It is impractical for us to cut back on the functionality/usability of these 
pages which is why we are considering providing an alternative version of the 

> Perhaps it would be a more productive route to look at the functionality
>   which seems so dependent on a client-side technique that might not exist ?

We are working through the site to ensure that it will work if js is disabled. 
The pages that we might have problems with are the pages that we would prefer 
to keep framed so will be looking to detect if js is enabled and then redirect 
the users to the non framed accessible versions.

> That would mean that the alternative page need use a different functionality
>   that the main pages, which means you need *two* implementations. Again it
>   seems more fruitful to actually rethink the concept.

We don't really consider that to be much of a problem.  We would rather do 
that than provide the users with reduced usability.

> That, in my opinion, is the entirely wrong way to go. Accessibility is
>   more hurt by having site-specific methods for changing fonts, colours,
>   and soforth, than it is helped by it.

We have argued this one back and forth.  The site is aimed at the voluntary 
sector and we have spoken to a number of charities involved with visual 
impairments and have received very mixed views.

At the end of the day we have decided to provide the facilities for those that 
want to use it, but will also be providing advice on how they can change 
settings in their browser and use their own stylesheets so that all sites 
display how they want them.

> I suggest that you _first_ of all ask yourself "Why do we want to achieve
>   WCAG 1.0 double-A ?", with the weight on the _why_. There is little point
>   in doing it just to do it.

Our users have requested it and will benefit from it.

Sorry it is difficult to explain things more fully without showing you the 
pages, but they are all in a secure area of the site.


Julian Voelcker
Received on Friday, 17 January 2003 08:23:17 UTC

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