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RE: Technical question about JavaScript disabled option

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@levelaccess.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2017 03:13:06 +0000
To: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <CY1PR0301MB20909F03153CB6E3626823DBF1710@CY1PR0301MB2090.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
  *   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?

To clarify, I don't think Phil is saying a site that requires JavaScript has to work without that relied on technology.   WCAG allows authors to rely on certain technologies for conformance.  So you can say your conformance claim relies on JavaScript - and as Phil said if it was implemented in a conformant way you can make that claim.  If you are not relying on a technology for conformance then turning off that technology should not affect it.  So for example, if you don't rely on JavaScript for the conformance claim then you should be able to turn off JavaScript and the page would still conform.


Jonathan Avila
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From: Phill Jenkins [mailto:pjenkins@us.ibm.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 5, 2017 4:36 PM
To: Giacomo Petri <giacomopetri89@gmail.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Technical question about JavaScript disabled option

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 http://www-03.ibm.com/able/guidelines/ci162/accessibility_supported.html
Phill Jenkins
Senior Engineer & Accessibility Executive
IBM Research Accessibility

From:        Giacomo Petri <giacomopetri89@gmail.com<mailto:giacomopetri89@gmail.com>>
To:        w3c-wai-ig@w3.org<mailto: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 option.

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 Javascript.

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 Friday, 6 October 2017 03:13:32 UTC

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