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508 compliance and Javascript

P: n/a
Hi all, looking for a little bit of help.....I'm currently in the
process of trying to understand the impact of the 508 guidelines on a
web site that I am involved with, and I have a question surrounding the
use of Javascript. The site currently relies on Javascript for
navigating from page to page - I cannot find anything in the 508
guidelines like the 6.3 WAI checkpoint for AA compliance:

"Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other
programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not
possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible
page".

Does this restriction not exist for 508 compliance? Can a site be
considered 508 compliant if it relies on Javascript being enabled?

Thanks

Mar 15 '06 #1
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26 Replies


P: n/a
wardy wrote:
Hi all, looking for a little bit of help.....I'm currently in the
process of trying to understand the impact of the 508 guidelines on a
web site that I am involved with, and I have a question surrounding the
use of Javascript. The site currently relies on Javascript for
navigating from page to page - I cannot find anything in the 508
guidelines like the 6.3 WAI checkpoint for AA compliance:

"Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other
programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not
possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible
page".

Does this restriction not exist for 508 compliance? Can a site be
considered 508 compliant if it relies on Javascript being enabled?


Section 508 isn't very long--surely you saw paragraph 1194.22(l):

(l) When pages utilize scripting languages to display content, or to
create interface elements, the information provided by the script shall
be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology.

Commentary from the Access Board is at
http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/g...194.22.htm#(l).

I've had a Javascript-based drop-down menu, one that expands on clicking
or keyboard activation rather than mouseovers, pass muster from a
Federal agency 508 review team, where the items on each pop-up menu were
positioned right after the link that opened the menu and were
traversible via the tab key when visible, but were left out of the tab
sequence when invisible. (Accomplished using the CSS display attribute.)
Mar 15 '06 #2

P: n/a
Hi Harlan...thanks for the response. I absolutely saw that paragraph,
but there is nothing specifically there that says that a site must
function with Javascript disabled. It talks about "utilize scripting
languages to display content, or to create interface elements", but
this does not imply that the site must work without Javascript. It is
not Javascript that is rendering the controls, but it is Javascript
that is handling clicks on hyperlinks. That is where the grey area
comes in and why I was asking can a site be 508 compliant if it doesn't
work with Javascript disabled

Thanks again

Mar 15 '06 #3

P: n/a
wardy wrote:
Does this restriction not exist for 508 compliance? Can a site be
considered 508 compliant if it relies on Javascript being enabled?


Section 508 has some detailed javascript guidelines, regarding events
that can ror can't be used, or those that can be used with certain
(well-specified) provisos.

Section 508's guidelines are quite a lot easier to test
programmatically than WCAG. See http://valet.webthing.com/access/

--
Nick Kew
Mar 16 '06 #4

P: n/a
Gazing into my crystal ball I observed "wardy" <wa*******@gmail.com>
writing in news:11**********************@u72g2000cwu.googlegr oups.com:
Hi Harlan...thanks for the response. I absolutely saw that paragraph,
but there is nothing specifically there that says that a site must
function with Javascript disabled. It talks about "utilize scripting
languages to display content, or to create interface elements", but
this does not imply that the site must work without Javascript. It is
not Javascript that is rendering the controls, but it is Javascript
that is handling clicks on hyperlinks. That is where the grey area
comes in and why I was asking can a site be 508 compliant if it doesn't
work with Javascript disabled

Thanks again


If clicking on a link still goes to the link with javascript disabled, then
you're good to go. If not, you're not.

Best thing to do is to turn javascript off and navigate around the site.

--
Adrienne Boswell
http://www.cavalcade-of-coding.info
Please respond to the group so others can share
Mar 16 '06 #5

P: n/a
Hi all....thanks for the responses. If I turn Javascript off, then the
site cannot be navigated as it relies on Javascript functionality to
perform functions that allow the navigation to occur. However, the 508
guidelines do not explicitly state that a site must be functional with
Javascript disabled, or at least, I cannot find this statement in the
guidelines. It talks about the use of the OnClick event, which is what
is used by the site on hyperlinks - the 508 guidelines specify:

onClick - The onClick event handler is triggered when the user
clicks once on a particular item. It is commonly used on links and
button elements and, used in connectio with these elements, it works
well with screen readers. If clicking on the element associated with
the onClick event handler triggers a function or performs some other
action, developers should ensure that the context makes that fact clear
to all users. Do not use the onClick event handlers for form elements
that include several options (e.g. select lists, radio buttons,
checkboxes) unless absolutely necessary.

We also use Javascript URL's, which are mentioned in the guidelines as
follows:

Web developers working with JavaScript frequently use so-called
JavaScript URL's as an easy way to invoke JavaScript functions.
Typically, this technique is used as part of <a> anchor links. For
instance, the following link invokes a JavaScript function called
myFunction:

<a href="javascript:myFunction();">Start myFunction</a>

This technique does not cause accessibility problems for assistive
technology

According to these statements, the use of onClick and Javascript URL's
is fine, and if it triggers a function (which ours does), as long as we
indicate that it does so, then there shouldn't be an issue. Am I
interpreting this correctly? (Unfortunately the validation tools for
this area only bring back warnings and they are manual checks required,
thus my problem interpreting what constitutes non-compliance).

Thanks again

Mar 16 '06 #6

P: n/a
VK

wardy wrote:
Hi all, looking for a little bit of help.....I'm currently in the
process of trying to understand the impact of the 508 guidelines on a
web site that I am involved with, and I have a question surrounding the
use of Javascript. The site currently relies on Javascript for
navigating from page to page - I cannot find anything in the 508
guidelines like the 6.3 WAI checkpoint for AA compliance:

"Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other
programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not
possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible
page".

Does this restriction not exist for 508 compliance? Can a site be
considered 508 compliant if it relies on Javascript being enabled?


Hi, if you are interested in the US situation:

In the US the industry of slippers exists for a long time and there is
a set of reasonable protection measures for businesses against
citizens.
Note: I picked up the term "slippers" from the grocery business. There
it refers to people seeking an opportunity to fail (slip) on floor in
some rich grocery store like Safeway or Wal-Mart to get a good
compensation for a light injury. On a wide run "slipper" refer to any
person seeking an opportunity to get victimized / injured by some rich
business: slip on floor, pour hot coffee on yourself, to be unable to
use public WC on a wheelchair etc.
There is a good set up between certain people with disabilities and
certain lawyers, continuously seeking for new victims.
By now businesses and court system set a rather effective protection
against slippers, where the key line is the "default accessibility
violation or default usage danger". Say in big grocery stores against
of slippers they now have sweepers: these are appointed employees
sweeping the floor on an hourly basis and marking it in a journal. Even
if someone fails - which is always possible - the store has a proof
that all default measures to prevent that have been taken.
For the Web this means that, in order to protect themselves against
web-slippers, a corporate site *by default* has to conform to ADA.
Disabling JavaScript/JScript (which is on by default) is an expressive
action made by visitor. If it decreases site's accessibility, it is
caused by expressive actions of your visitors, and slippers are out of
luck. In this concern you better fully concentrate on ADA conformance
in the default environment. The last big slippers' success was with a
perfectly valid HTML Transitional page with JavaScript enabled. For
details see:
<http://www.dralegal.org/cases/private_business/nfb_v_target.php>
That costed to Target good money paid under the table. And they got it
on such simple and HTML-valid thing as *image map*.

Actually I wouldn't be surprised to see one day W3C US Branch being
suited by slippers for promoting non-ADA conformant pages over
Validator. :-) It sounds ugly and crazy enough to become true one day.
:-)

Mar 16 '06 #7

P: n/a
VK
.... and never ever disregard <noscript> ... </noscript> tag.

"Caution! This content is extremely hot!" - a really short message, but
now anyone is welcome to pour the entire coffee cup right on his virtu
:-)

"Sorry, but the content of this page is not accessible if client-side
script support is disabled" - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as
disability discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor).

Mar 16 '06 #8

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"VK" <sc**********@yahoo.com> writes:
For the Web this means that, in order to protect themselves against
web-slippers, a corporate site *by default* has to conform to ADA.
Disabling JavaScript/JScript (which is on by default)
On by default in _some_ browsers. Off by default in others (corporate
security policies on locked-down desktops, for example, may mean that
when the PC arrives at your desk, it has Javascript disabled),
non-existent in many more.
is an expressive action made by visitor. If it decreases site's
accessibility, it is caused by expressive actions of your visitors,
So, what if none of the browsers on my computer support Javascript?
luck. In this concern you better fully concentrate on ADA conformance
in the default environment. The last big slippers' success was with a
perfectly valid HTML Transitional page
Given that one of the claims in the article is "missing alt text", the
page could not have been valid.
with JavaScript enabled. For details see:
<http://www.dralegal.org/cases/private_business/nfb_v_target.php>
I presume the "expressive action made by the visitor" in this case you
define as "using a browser that lets them browse the web at all"? Or
can you think of a way that, in the default case, someone who can't
see will be able to use a mouse to navigate a site.
That costed to Target good money paid under the table. And they got it
on such simple and HTML-valid thing as *image map*.


According to the article, which you seem to have linked to without
reading, it was for missing alt text (not valid nor accessible) and
forcing the use of a mouse (not accessible), and for inaccessible
image maps (not for image maps, for *inaccessible* ones).

Validity helps accessibility but does not guarantee it. Anyone who
claims otherwise has seriously misunderstood both validity and
accessibility. In this case the site was neither, of course.

There are unreasonable adjustments to make to browser
choice+configuration that would make an accessibility argument based
on a site not being viewable in those settings fair.
- setting the same text and background colour as your browser defaults
- having a user stylesheet of "* { display: none !important }"
- using the original line mode browser, IE v1, or another browser of that era

Disabling Javascript - especially as some browsers don't have the
option to enable it - does not count.

--
Chris
Mar 16 '06 #9

P: n/a
"VK" <sc**********@yahoo.com> writes:
"Sorry, but the content of this page is not accessible if client-side
script support is disabled" - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as
disability discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor).
"VK" didn't write, but could have under the same logic: "Sorry, this building is not accessible if staircase support is
disabled." - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as disability
discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor)


Both statements are equally valid.

--
Chris
Mar 16 '06 #10

P: n/a
In article <11**********************@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups .com>,
wardy <wa*******@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi all....thanks for the responses. If I turn Javascript off, then the
site cannot be navigated as it relies on Javascript functionality to
perform functions that allow the navigation to occur.
Help me out here... I fail to understand what possesses a designer
to create a web site that doesn't degrade gracefully but still
remains usable when javascript is disabled. Things that used to
rely on javascript (such as navigation menus with submenus that
expand when the mouse hovers over them) can now be done completely
without javascript, using CSS instead.

What POSSIBLE reason is there for a site to RELY on javascript?
What is so special about the design of a particular page that it
requires javascript to work?

I honestly don't know; perhaps you could explain it to me.

I see many sites that are totally nonfunctional without javascript,
and yet, in every case, I can see how to design them so that either
(a) they don't need javascript at all, or (b) disabling javascript
will remove some fancy effects (like expandable/collapsible lists,
form input validation, etc.) but still allow the site to function.
However, the 508guidelines do not explicitly state that a site must be functional with
Javascript disabled, or at least, I cannot find this statement in the
guidelines. It talks about the use of the OnClick event, which is what
is used by the site on hyperlinks - the 508 guidelines specify:

onClick - The onClick event handler is triggered when the user
clicks once on a particular item. It is commonly used on links and
button elements and, used in connectio with these elements, it works
well with screen readers. If clicking on the element associated with
the onClick event handler triggers a function or performs some other
action, developers should ensure that the context makes that fact clear
to all users. Do not use the onClick event handlers for form elements
that include several options (e.g. select lists, radio buttons,
checkboxes) unless absolutely necessary.

We also use Javascript URL's, which are mentioned in the guidelines as
follows:

Web developers working with JavaScript frequently use so-called
JavaScript URL's as an easy way to invoke JavaScript functions.
Typically, this technique is used as part of <a> anchor links. For
instance, the following link invokes a JavaScript function called
myFunction:

<a href="javascript:myFunction();">Start myFunction</a>

This technique does not cause accessibility problems for assistive
technology

According to these statements, the use of onClick and Javascript URL's
is fine, and if it triggers a function (which ours does), as long as we
indicate that it does so, then there shouldn't be an issue. Am I
interpreting this correctly? (Unfortunately the validation tools for
this area only bring back warnings and they are manual checks required,
thus my problem interpreting what constitutes non-compliance).

Thanks again

Mar 16 '06 #11

P: n/a
VK
Chris Morris wrote:
So, what if none of the browsers on my computer support Javascript?
An intentional attempt to decrease/break the default site
accessibility:- doesn't count, go get a better computer.
If you cannot afford one - your Union or Society have to give you one.
If they cannot / don't want to do it then you are entitled to seek your
equal information access rights up to the highest court.

This is the most primitive case, even slippers-beginners skip on it :-)
Otherwise anyone who happened to be short on cash could download Lynx,
go to microsoft.com, go to lawyer - and the fortune is set (actually
for the purity of the vengeance that someone could download IE and
disable everything in it including JScript and CSS).
In this concern you better fully concentrate on ADA conformance
in the default environment. The last big slippers' success was with a
perfectly valid HTML Transitional page


Given that one of the claims in the article is "missing alt text", the
page could not have been valid.


The case was build on an image map where navigation (product category)
was based on click coordinates. That was counted discriminating to the
forced keyboard users. Lack of alt text just happened to be an icing on
the cake, but it wouldn't help.

To finish with it: I knew about this case from my personal sources and
just quickly look for some article to link while making the previous
post. Maybe the article below is more explicit and it also answers the
rest of your questions about the Target case:
<http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/09/BAGQHH5H7D1.DTL&hw>
Overall there is not too much online covarage about it: firstly because
it seems to be settled under the table, secondly it is just too fresh
yet.

(And thinking over:- I guess it is great for W3C that their assets seem
to be nothing but frozen DTD's and great plans for future:- where
neither one is monetary interesting. Otherwise they might be sued both
by fall-back case from Target and by all blinds of America :-)
There are unreasonable adjustments to make to browser
choice+configuration that would make an accessibility argument based
on a site not being viewable in those settings fair.
- setting the same text and background colour as your browser defaults
- having a user stylesheet of "* { display: none !important }"
- using the original line mode browser, IE v1, or another browser of that era
For a professional web-slipper you possibly have some potential, but
still long-long way to go :-)
The above has nothing to do with *selective accessibility
descrimination within ADA*. These are ways to *prevent/make difficult
information viewing for all visitors*. Similar is asking a password
before allowing access to certain part of your site. If password is
wrong, access is denied - but it is not an ADA violation (yet? :-)
"Sorry, but the content of this page is not accessible if client-side
script support is disabled" - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as
disability discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor).

"VK" didn't write, but could have under the same logic: "Sorry, this building is not accessible if staircase support is
disabled." - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as disability
discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor) Both statements are equally valid.


Now you are on the right path.
And how about a night in a hotel with a big announcement near of the
counter: "Attention! Some materials used in this building are known to
be cancerogenic." I spent many nights in them because there are not
others. A sweet memory from a successfull gang of hotel-slippers who
once managed to blaim all their mental and physical problems on few
nights spent in one famous hotel.
Always spell exactly what are you going to provide, under what
conditions, and what is going to happen if one (or all) of these
conditions are not met. And be happy as a bird. Otherwise you are
definitely not ready for the Republic of California: the land of
fruits, nuts ans lawyer. ;-)

Mar 16 '06 #12

P: n/a
"VK" <sc**********@yahoo.com> writes:
Chris Morris wrote:
So, what if none of the browsers on my computer support Javascript?
An intentional attempt to decrease/break the default site
accessibility:- doesn't count, go get a better computer.


Better computers cost money.
If you cannot afford one - your Union or Society have to give you one.
Well, since I am a member of no unions or societies, as is the default
state for humans, that's not an option. Nor, if I were, would they
have any obligation to provide me with one. My employer would, but
accessibility affects home as well as business use, and my employer is
under no obligation to provide me with a home computer.
This is the most primitive case, even slippers-beginners skip on it :-)
Otherwise anyone who happened to be short on cash could download Lynx,
go to microsoft.com, go to lawyer - and the fortune is set (actually
for the purity of the vengeance that someone could download IE and
disable everything in it including JScript and CSS).
Well, except that plenty of sites work fine without Javascript, and
indeed I browse the microsoft site quite often without encountering
any Javascript problems.
Given that one of the claims in the article is "missing alt text", the
page could not have been valid.


The case was build on an image map where navigation (product category)
was based on click coordinates. That was counted discriminating to the
forced keyboard users. Lack of alt text just happened to be an icing on
the cake, but it wouldn't help.


Ah, server-side image maps? (since client-side maps are keyboard
accessible). Well, they deserved a kicking for using technology
recommended against for several years.

What possible reason could there be to have the *only* way to select a
product category be via an image map? Why not just have a text list of
categories or a search function too?
(And thinking over:- I guess it is great for W3C that their assets seem
to be nothing but frozen DTD's and great plans for future:- where
neither one is monetary interesting. Otherwise they might be sued both
by fall-back case from Target and by all blinds of America :-)
I fail to see what basis there would be for suing W3C? Their site may
not be the best in existence, but it is generally accessible.
There are unreasonable adjustments to make to browser
choice+configuration that would make an accessibility argument based
on a site not being viewable in those settings fair.
- setting the same text and background colour as your browser defaults
- having a user stylesheet of "* { display: none !important }"
- using the original line mode browser, IE v1, or another browser
of that era


The above has nothing to do with *selective accessibility
descrimination within ADA*. These are ways to *prevent/make difficult
information viewing for all visitors*. Similar is asking a password
before allowing access to certain part of your site. If password is
wrong, access is denied - but it is not an ADA violation (yet? :-)


Rightish. Actually, those were ways a visitor could make viewing of
any site, no matter how accessible the site, potentially impossible. I
was distinguishing between perverse behaviour like that on the part of
the user, and reasonable behaviour (disabling Javascript, being unable
to use a mouse, etc) that may be required by a disability.
"Sorry, but the content of this page is not accessible if client-side
script support is disabled" - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as
disability discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor).

"VK" didn't write, but could have under the same logic:

"Sorry, this building is not accessible if staircase support is
disabled." - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as disability
discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor)

Both statements are equally valid.


Now you are on the right path.


To be more clear, since you're being intentionally awkward, the
validity under law for escaping being seriously sued under legislation
in force in America, the UK and most of Europe, Australia, and many
other countries, is equally zero in both cases.
Always spell exactly what are you going to provide, under what
conditions, and what is going to happen if one (or all) of these
conditions are not met. And be happy as a bird. Otherwise you are
definitely not ready for the Republic of California: the land of
fruits, nuts ans lawyer. ;-)


The law distinguishes between reasonable and unreasonable
conditions. Some examples of generally unreasonable conditions.
"You must have two fully-working legs to enter this building"
"You must be fully sighted to browse this website"
"You must be male to buy coffee from me"

....and generally reasonable conditions
"You must be in the same city as this building to enter it"
"You must have the correct password to access this website"
"You must have sufficient money to buy coffee from me"

--
Chris
Mar 16 '06 #13

P: n/a
VK
Chris Morris wrote:
"VK" <sc**********@yahoo.com> writes:
Chris Morris wrote:
So, what if none of the browsers on my computer support Javascript?
An intentional attempt to decrease/break the default site
accessibility:- doesn't count, go get a better computer.


Better computers cost money.


Do not forget - we (me at least) are talking about ADA regulations
therefore about a person with an officially registered disability. A
healthy person is up to her own to work for money and get a better
computer.
If you cannot afford one - your Union or Society have to give you one.


Well, since I am a member of no unions or societies, as is the default
state for humans, that's not an option.


Again - it was about ADA regulations therefore about a relevant Union
or Society for people with disabilities. Also come categories of eldery
people can benefit from equal information access rights. Active healthy
members of the society need to move their ass quick and by themselves
;-)
Well, except that plenty of sites work fine without Javascript, and
indeed I browse the microsoft site quite often without encountering
any Javascript problems.
Taking a step away from the ADA issues: this thread topic non-directly
implies several wrong pre-conclusions:
1) "Script support may be presented or not but CSS always remains." It
is completely unclear what basis this idea is based on. Both script and
CSS support can be disabled on any browser with the same couple of
clicks.
2) "Script is always a potential security risk". Script by itself is
completely harmless: the risk is in the bridges one can make using
script to other objects (ActiveX, XPCom etc.) And many of these objects
(if badly written) are dangerous by themselves, without any scripting.
Say in order to infect any IE 6 on Windows below XP SP2 one needs to
have <object> activation enabled. This is all - and you may turn
everything else off including script support.
3) "Script is always a potential security risk while CSS never". This
idea reflects the situation of the last sentury. On routhly 95% of
currently used UA's (IE + FF) I can initiate file access, change page
content, make XMLHttpRequest and everything else - by using nothing but
CSS (behaviors and bindings). The idea that CSS is something for
layout, fonts and colors is as outdated as HTML 4

Note: This is why a sysadmin disabling script support for "improved
corporate security" is... anyway, you better find another one ASAP.

But back to the subject: you can proprietary narrow the features of
your UA to the minimum - and even below the minimum. It is your freedom
of choice - and no one's subject of interest or preoccupation.
What possible reason could there be to have the *only* way to select a
product category be via an image map? Why not just have a text list of
categories or a search function too?
Image map and input=image (that was the biggest - besides alt missing -
mistake, because the server response counted the click coords)
I fail to see what basis there would be for suing W3C? Their site may
not be the best in existence, but it is generally accessible.
Presuming that Target would use alt's and all other HTML requirements:-
this page would be validated and even entitled for "Valid HTML 4.01"
banner. They would still loose with maps and input=submit. That would
be a reason for Target to have a fall-back claim to W3C for false
advertisement, and for Blinds Society to W3C for endorsement and
promotion of non-ADA compliant sites. Of course it is all hypotetical
and totally crasy... like the Target case itself.
Actually, those were ways a visitor could make viewing of
any site, no matter how accessible the site, potentially impossible. I
was distinguishing between perverse behaviour like that on the part of
the user, and reasonable behaviour (disabling Javascript, being unable
to use a mouse, etc) that may be required by a disability.
Right. And if JavaScript was used to *improve* the site accessibility,
slipper has no chance to claim the site unaccessible because she turned
JavaScript off.
Say if one site uses scriptable Microsoft Speach module and Microsoft
Agents, one cannot blaim that it is not accessible "because I turned
script off". It is the same as complaining that "I turned CSS and image
display off and your site is very ugly now".

> "Sorry, but the content of this page is not accessible if client-side
> script support is disabled" - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as
> disability discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor).

"VK" didn't write, but could have under the same logic:

"Sorry, this building is not accessible if staircase support is
disabled." - and go sue me now. (cannot be treated as disability
discrimination as the message is equal for any visitor)

Both statements are equally valid.


Now you are on the right path.


To be more clear, since you're being intentionally awkward, the
validity under law for escaping being seriously sued under legislation
in force in America, the UK and most of Europe, Australia, and many
other countries, is equally zero in both cases.


If one would invent a bulletproof trick against slippers this
"honorable" profession would disappear. But it did not.
Nevertheless a clearly stated requirements, warnings and consequences
are a vital part of the legal protection. I'm sorry but you don't seem
to be totally on the speed of this matter.
...and generally reasonable conditions
"You must be in the same city as this building to enter it"
"You must have the correct password to access this website"
"You must have sufficient money to buy coffee from me"


And don't forget to add here:
"You must have client-side scripting enabled to view this page".

No one can force you to make a client-side dependent page, but if you
do so do not forget to spell something like this in <noscript> section.

Mar 16 '06 #14

P: n/a
Ok...some great replies to my original thread....the impression that I
am getting is that there are a number of personal opinions on the
validity of having a site that relies on Javascript, but from a purely
508 compliance point of view, provided the site mentions that
Javascript must be enabled to use it, then it is still valid from 508.
Is this right?

Mar 17 '06 #15

P: n/a
"wardy" <wa*******@gmail.com> writes:
Ok...some great replies to my original thread....the impression that I
am getting is that there are a number of personal opinions on the
validity of having a site that relies on Javascript, but from a purely
508 compliance point of view, provided the site mentions that
Javascript must be enabled to use it, then it is still valid from 508.
Is this right?


It all depends why you're trying for section 508 compliance.

If it's to get some official certificate of meeting certain criteria,
and only care about US law [1], and have an effective legal team, then
I have no doubt that it is possible to take whatever unaccessible
monstrosity you happen to find, take an over-literal reading of
certain parts of section 508, and an over-liberal reading of others,
and claim compliance, without needing to make any changes at all to
the underlying code. I've seen more than one corporation do this.

If, on the other hand, it's because you want your site to be usable by
as many people (customers?) as possible without putting any of them to
unnecessary inconvenience or forcing them to seek another person's
help to use the site, and you view the section 508 rules as useful
hints towards where you need to look to achieve this, then the answer
is simple - if you use Javascript then equivalent functionality *must*
be provided without requiring Javascript (unless this is actually
impossible, which is incredibly rare).

So, it's all down to your motivation for wanting to meet Section 508
in the first place. Hopefully it's the latter.

[1] In Australia by case law, and under just about all legal advice
given in the UK (and probably in all other European countries), the
essential part (Priority 1 guidelines) of the W3C Web Content
Accessibility Guidelines would be considered instead. It's possible
that this would also be the case in America, I don't know.

In those guidelines, it is extremely clear from:
"6.3 Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other
programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not
possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible
page. [Priority 1]"
and the associated examples that a _dependency_ on Javascript is not
allowed in an accessible site.

That's not to say you can't use Javascript to enhance the site, or
make certain operations easier in a way that's not possible with just
HTML, but that you must make sure that those operations are *possible*
without it.

--
Chris
Mar 17 '06 #16

P: n/a
On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 14:17:33 -0800, VK wrote:
Chris Morris wrote:
...and generally reasonable conditions "You must be in the same city as
this building to enter it" "You must have the correct password to access
this website" "You must have sufficient money to buy coffee from me"


And don't forget to add here:
"You must have client-side scripting enabled to view this page".

No one can force you to make a client-side dependent page, but if you do
so do not forget to spell something like this in <noscript> section.


You have argued (and I have no reason to doubt the validity of your
argument) that the US law fails to do anything for disabled web users
provided web authors are devious enough to treat everyone equally badly.

The UK DDA is more sane. It derives its purpose from an evident
inequality rather than from an Alice in Wonderland notion of equal
treatment: simple technologies exist that enable web sites to be
comparatively accessible, and the DDA requires that organisations do
everything reasonable to deploy these technologies.

--
Ben.
Mar 18 '06 #17

P: n/a
VK

wardy wrote:
Ok...some great replies to my original thread....the impression that I
am getting is that there are a number of personal opinions on the
validity of having a site that relies on Javascript, but from a purely
508 compliance point of view, provided the site mentions that
Javascript must be enabled to use it, then it is still valid from 508.
Is this right?


First of all you need to find out if 508 is applicable to your current
project. This law has a specific and well-defined domain: "The law
applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain,
or use electronic and information technology."

This law is a continuation of equal information access rights, so (just
an example) anyone with any disabilities and any (even the most narrow)
funds could access the Bill of Rights or the last debats in the
Congress.

It has no application to commercial services and commerce-based
information sources. Say if you have an advertisement based weather
portal, you are welcome to ban any visitor not willing to view
banner/aural ads by disabling script/image support or by using
text-only UA.

Of course from the customer's point of view it would be better to have
pure info only, as well as no ads during a good TV program, and follow
only point in the contract one likes etc. :-)

But it just doesn't work this way, or a good part of businesses
couldn't exist. You are getting the service on the rules I spelled - or
you are not getting it at all. The task is that in the per design state
*in the intended environment* your service wouldn't be discriminating
for people with disabilities - or it should be stated that the nature
of your business presumes no clients with disabilities (say freestyle
equippment).

Mar 18 '06 #18

P: n/a
Tim
wardy:
Ok...some great replies to my original thread....the impression that I
am getting is that there are a number of personal opinions on the
validity of having a site that relies on Javascript, but from a purely
508 compliance point of view, provided the site mentions that Javascript
must be enabled to use it, then it is still valid from 508. Is this
right?

Why go through the legal and technical minefield of trying to define
yourself out of a hole, instead of designing something so that it works
without special requirements?

VK: Of course from the customer's point of view it would be better to have
pure info only, as well as no ads during a good TV program, and follow
only point in the contract one likes etc. :-)

But it just doesn't work this way, or a good part of businesses couldn't
exist. You are getting the service on the rules I spelled - or you are not
getting it at all. The task is that in the per design state *in the
intended environment* your service wouldn't be discriminating for people
with disabilities - or it should be stated that the nature of your
business presumes no clients with disabilities (say freestyle equippment).


Where that (the end of the last sentence) falls apart is people's
incorrect perceptions of what disabilities preclude (e.g. blind people CAN
play table tennis, despite what you might think), or what a disabled
person might do for others as their job (e.g. the purchasing officer for
some company may be blind).

--
If you insist on e-mailing me, use the reply-to address (it's real but
temporary). But please reply to the group, like you're supposed to.

This message was sent without a virus, please destroy some files yourself.

Mar 19 '06 #19

P: n/a
wardy wrote:
Ok...some great replies to my original thread....the impression that I
am getting is that there are a number of personal opinions on the
validity of having a site that relies on Javascript, but from a purely
508 compliance point of view, provided the site mentions that
Javascript must be enabled to use it, then it is still valid from 508.
Is this right?


Having worked for state and local government, having worked in a
publicly held business heavily monitored by state and local government,
and so having taken a number of mandated classes and courses on what is
"valid" and what is "not valid", I assure you there is only one way to
know for sure:

When the judge or jury comes back with a verdict.

In the meantime continue doing your best, and please know that I am not
a lawyer and that this has not been legal advice in any way shape or form...
--
John
Mar 19 '06 #20

P: n/a
axlq wrote:
In article <11**********************@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups .com>,
wardy <wa*******@gmail.com> wrote:
Hi all....thanks for the responses. If I turn Javascript off, then the
site cannot be navigated as it relies on Javascript functionality to
perform functions that allow the navigation to occur.

Help me out here... I fail to understand what possesses a designer
to create a web site that doesn't degrade gracefully but still
remains usable when javascript is disabled. Things that used to
rely on javascript (such as navigation menus with submenus that
expand when the mouse hovers over them) can now be done completely
without javascript, using CSS instead.

What POSSIBLE reason is there for a site to RELY on javascript?
What is so special about the design of a particular page that it
requires javascript to work?

I honestly don't know; perhaps you could explain it to me.


I can't speak for the gentleman, but before I got out of the business of
HTML some years ago - and now I find myself back in it - I raised a
similar question to my boss. Her reply was that I was to shut up and do
the work her way; and if I chose not to then I could leave and not come
back.

For those who live paycheck to paycheck this kind of eventuality
provides motivation, of the most desperate type, to put aside what we
think is right and do what is necessary. No questions asked.
--
John
Mar 19 '06 #21

P: n/a

wardy wrote:
Hi all, looking for a little bit of help.....I'm currently in the
process of trying to understand the impact of the 508 guidelines on a
web site that I am involved with, and I have a question surrounding the
use of Javascript. The site currently relies on Javascript for
navigating from page to page - I cannot find anything in the 508
guidelines like the 6.3 WAI checkpoint for AA compliance:

"Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other
programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not
possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible
page".

To make a long story short.
Just place some text links a long the bottom of the pages that contain
the JS navigation. That means people who can't use JS, or who have it
turned off for whatever reason, can still navigate the site. Then just
instruct visitors accordingly.
As a blind webmaster, I do take a lot (if not all of these issues
concerning web accessibility very siriously).
You can view my site at: http://freewebdesign.cjb.cc
Or if that link is down, as it is at the moment, view
http://home.primus.com.au/kellykk/freewebdesignonline
--
Regards Chad.

Mar 19 '06 #22

P: n/a
VK

Chaddy2222 wrote:
To make a long story short.
Just place some text links a long the bottom of the pages that contain
the JS navigation. That means people who can't use JS, or who have it
turned off for whatever reason, can still navigate the site. Then just
instruct visitors accordingly.
Great advise - the same as I gave. And you always can hide it from
script-enabled browsers by placing it into <noscript> block.
As a blind webmaster, I do take a lot (if not all of these issues
concerning web accessibility very siriously).


And you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 under Windows XP SP2 (sorry for
looking at your userAgent string). So you may tell if you know a
condition where a blind person would turn off script support or
<acronym>CSS</acronym> support or would use Lynx to get a better
accessibility on the Web?

Mar 19 '06 #23

P: n/a
In article <0A5Tf.1460$I7.1034@trnddc03>, Baldoni <no********@no.com> wrote:
axlq wrote:
What POSSIBLE reason is there for a site to RELY on javascript?


I raised a similar question to my boss. Her reply was that I was
to shut up and do the work her way; and if I chose not to then I
could leave and not come back.


Well, I guess that's one answer to my question, but not quite what I
had in mind. I have been wondering if there's any technical reason
for a site to rely on javascript for things like links and basic
navigation.

-A
Mar 19 '06 #24

P: n/a
axlq wrote:
In article <0A5Tf.1460$I7.1034@trnddc03>, Baldoni <no********@no.com> wrote:
axlq wrote:
What POSSIBLE reason is there for a site to RELY on javascript?


I raised a similar question to my boss. Her reply was that I was
to shut up and do the work her way; and if I chose not to then I
could leave and not come back.

Well, I guess that's one answer to my question, but not quite what I
had in mind. I have been wondering if there's any technical reason
for a site to rely on javascript for things like links and basic
navigation.

-A


The only reason that I could think of would be to demonstrate by example
the functionalities of javascript, and perhaps also the difficulties of
using such a site without javascript enabled. Perhaps the OP is
building just such a site for a governmental agency, and is facing the
conundrum of still being 508 compliant.

--
John
Mar 19 '06 #25

P: n/a

VK wrote:
Chaddy2222 wrote:
To make a long story short.
Just place some text links a long the bottom of the pages that contain
the JS navigation. That means people who can't use JS, or who have it
turned off for whatever reason, can still navigate the site. Then just
instruct visitors accordingly.
Great advise - the same as I gave. And you always can hide it from
script-enabled browsers by placing it into <noscript> block.
As a blind webmaster, I do take a lot (if not all of these issues
concerning web accessibility very siriously).


And you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 under Windows XP SP2 (sorry for
looking at your userAgent string).

That's ok.
So you may tell if you know a condition where a blind person would turn off script support or
<acronym>CSS</acronym> support or would use Lynx to get a better
accessibility on the Web?

Yes, well actaully, according to a lot of stats I have noticed, through
the hit counter on my site, which is hidden to those who have JS
enabled, if you don't enable JS you get a text link pointing to where
the counter is, but you need to log in to get the info.
But, back to the main point, around 1% of people Disable JS.
But, their are some people with low vision who use text only browsing
environments, which do not support images or JS. Or they use FF with JS
and images disabled.
CSS is another argument in itself, it's imposable to tell wether people
have CSS disalbed, and it would be just as hard to know if images are
being disabled by the user as well.
The main point, is that you don't know what sort of a set-up a user
will have, you can only prodict, so if you want your sites to be
accessed by the largest range of people, make them as simple of posable
and only use extra functions where necicary, such as Flash and
JavaScript. Also, for items such as form validation, it really should
be done server side. In case the user has JS disabled. It's also more
sicure.
I hope this helps.
--
Regards Chad. http://home.primus.com.au/kellykk/freewebdesignonline

Mar 20 '06 #26

P: n/a
VK

Chaddy2222 wrote:
Yes, well actaully, according to a lot of stats I have noticed, through
the hit counter on my site, which is hidden to those who have JS
enabled, if you don't enable JS you get a text link pointing to where
the counter is, but you need to log in to get the info.
But, back to the main point, around 1% of people Disable JS.
You are luckier then I am then, because my traps stay empty so far. But
as I said in another place a right location for a successfull hunting
is everything (smile).
But, their are some people with low vision who use text only browsing
environments, which do not support images or JS. Or they use FF with JS
and images disabled.
CSS is another argument in itself, it's imposable to tell wether people
have CSS disalbed, and it would be just as hard to know if images are
being disabled by the user as well.
The main point, is that you don't know what sort of a set-up a user
will have, you can only prodict, so if you want your sites to be
accessed by the largest range of people, make them as simple of posable
and only use extra functions where necicary, such as Flash and
JavaScript. Also, for items such as form validation, it really should
be done server side. In case the user has JS disabled. It's also more
sicure.
I hope this helps.


Doesn't help to fight for extra funding with my customers for extra
coverage of 1% of exclusive visitors (if they are not officially
disabled). But it does help for common considerations while planning
the site.

May ask if you are using Microsoft text-to-speach module or any other
text-to-speach module integrated into your browser?

Does your current software supports aural style rules? If so did you
visit any sites with aural styling implemented and was it helpful?

Given a choice: would you prefer from a site to have its own
text-to-speach and speach recognition tools like
<acronym>SALT</acronym> or would you prefer to let it go as it is so do
not interfer with your own software?

Mar 20 '06 #27

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