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Re: Technical question about JavaScript disabled option

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2017 15:35:35 -0500
To: Giacomo Petri <giacomopetri89@gmail.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-Id: <OF2311BB92.8FF5960B-ON862581B0.006FD98C-862581B0.00711F61@notes.na.collabserv.com>
The requirement is NOT whether to or not to use a technology such as 
JavaScript, CSS, etc. The requirement is to use the technology in an 
accessibility supported way.  WCAG doesn't require any specific technology 
to be used or turned on, that is the web site / application owner to claim 
which is accessibility supported.

In other words, in your case, if the technology is turned on, then does it 
meet all the success criteria?
If it is turned off does it meet all the success criteria?
I have not found anything in WCAG about turning on technology such as 
JavaScript to meet *some* success criteria, and then turning it off to 
meet *some* others.  It either meets all the success criteria to claim 
conformance or it doesn't. 

Perhaps reviewing IBM guidance on "accessibility supported technologies 
only" will help.  See 
Phill Jenkins
Senior Engineer & Accessibility Executive
IBM Research Accessibility

From:   Giacomo Petri <giacomopetri89@gmail.com>
To:     w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Date:   10/05/2017 12:41 PM
Subject:        Technical question about Javascript disabled option

Dear WAI IG,

My question concerns the accessibility of a page with javascript disabled 
Consider the following scenarios:
javascript disabled -> blank page;
javascript disabled -> global elements (for example header and footer) and 
blank page content;
javascript disabled -> ?Enable javascript to navigate this site? text;
Which of them are accessible?

I listed my considerations dividing them between PROS and CONS:

PROS (page is accessible):
in WCAG 2.0 there are sufficient techniques that require Javascript; if 
user disable Javascript these sufficient techniques aren?t available and 
the content of the page won?t be accessible;
a WebAIM survey in 2014 reported that 97.6% of respondents had Javascript 
enabled (I think we should consider accessibility linked to the technology 
progress and Javascript is part of this);
with the warning ?Enable javascript to navigate this site? the developer 
took care to alert the user that informations are available activating 

CONS (page is not accessible):
from the WCAG ?omissis ? Following these guidelines will make content 
accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including 
blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning 
disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech 
disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these 
guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in 
general.?; considering people that navigate with Javascript disabled 
option or with other browsers like LYNX, in the scenario highlighted the 
content of the page won?t be available at all.
from the WCAG ?omissis? If technologies are used in a way that is not 
accessibility supported, or if they are used in a non-conforming way, then 
they do not block the ability of users to access the rest of the page.? 
(reading the Understanding Conformance Requirements this block was 
described to avoid interferences between technologies but may be useful 
for my question) may we consider ?disabled javascript? a technology used 
in a non-conforming way? If that?s true, the user is not able to navigate 
and understand the content of the page because the content is missing. 
comparing two WebAIM surveys in 2012 and 2014 we can see that the number 
of users with Javascript disabled is slightly increased.

>From my personal considerations, at least a warning message should be 
implemented to alert the user the page is not working without Javascript, 
so the first and the second options are not accessible, the third is 
?enough? accessible.

Returning to my question: in general is obviously a good practice make 
content available without Javascript and provide ?necessary? functionality 
also without Javascript, but, in an already existing site where the effort 
to support it without Javascript is unmanageable, may the ?Enable 
Javascript to navigate the site? text solution considered a sufficient 
technique or not? Display a blank page without any error message is 
considered a WCAG failure?

I thank you in advance for answering these questions.

Giacomo Petri
Received on Thursday, 5 October 2017 20:36:12 UTC

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