RE: is javascript considered good wacg 2.0 practice?

I can't agree that PDF can't be regarded as accessibility supported. I can agree that support for accessibility in PDF differs across platforms, but this is true of all technologies to some degree. 

Also, I should note that you wouldn't say "we rely on Adobe PDF" as PDF is not Adobe's - PDF is an ISO standard, ISO 32000, so "we rely on PDF (ISO 32000)" would be more accurate.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Group Product Manager, Accessibility
Adobe Systems

-----Original Message-----
From: Ramón Corominas [] 
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 9:10 AM
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Subject: Re: is javascript considered good wacg 2.0 practice?

Hi, Andrew and all.

Although I basically agree with you in terms of the "accessibility support" in the case of JavaScript, I am not sure that we can simply say "I'm relying on this technology, so if there is not full support it is not my problem".

Indeed, for certain technologies it is clear that there is a lack of accessibility support that would affect disabled users differently than non-disabled users. For example, although PDF documents can be made "accessible", for now they are only accessibility supported on Windows using Adobe Reader (and I think only fully supported with JAWS). For Mac or Linux users, PDF will NOT be accessible even if the document is properly tagged, etc. Therefore, web owners cannot simply say "we rely on Adobe PDF, so if you are using another OS is not our problem".

Of course, in the case of PDF none of the conditions of the "accessibility support" are met, so we cannot claim "accessibility support" unless the documents are used in a closed environment. 
Nevertheless, with other technologies it seems sometimes that we simply consider that forcing the users to change their normal tools is fair, Apparently, users are guilty for not using "the right tool".

That said, I agree that we must be realistic, too. We cannot pretend that developers test every combination of OS, browser and AT, but there should also be a limit to the "it's your fault by not using the appropriate tool" excuse.


Andrew wrote:

> The way I answer this question for developers is that JavaScript is permissible under WCAG 2.0, but like any other technology it needs to correctly expose information about accessibility of the content and meet other WCAG 2.0 success criteria .
> The fact that there are people who disable JavaScript and clients available which restrict JavaScript is not a factor, for the reasons Steve Faulkner stated - users have a choice of browsers and other tools to use, and this issue doesn't uniquely affect users with disabilities. There is no such thing as "technology baseline" in WCAG 2.0 but within the conformance claim required components is a need to identify the components that the site "relies on" (  It is perfectly legitimate to indicate that a site relies on JavaScript, ARIA, and other technologies which are supported differently in different tools. 
> I fully agree that progressive enhancement is the best approach, but it may not always be possible to provide the same functionality with and without JS.  
> Thanks,
> Andrew Kirkpatrick
> Group Product Manager, Accessibility
> Adobe Systems

Received on Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:13:09 UTC